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FROM THE LIBRARY OF 

REV. LOUIS FITZGERALD BENSON, D. D. 

BEQUEATHED BY HIM TO 

THE LIBRARY OF 

PRINCETON THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY 



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MAY CAROLS; 



Bncilla Bomini. 



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LONDON I BURNS AND OATES. 




MADONNA DELLA STELLA. 



From the Original by Fra Angelico DA FlESOLE. 



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FEB 21 1933 



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MAY CAROLS; 



OR, 



Hnctlla Bomini. 



AUBREY DE VERE. 



tjfnrt) ffinition, CnlatseB* 



LONDON: BURNS AND OATES. 
18S1. 



"The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us." 

John i. 14. 



TO 



HIS EMINENCE, 



CARDINAL MANNING, 

Archbishop of Westminster, 

ZbiQ ipoem 

IS AGAIN DEDICATED 

WITH 

AFFECTION AND RESPECT. 



ERRATA. 

P. 15, line 7, for They see God's mountains city-crowned ; 
read They see God's mountain city-crowned ; 

P. 42, line 8, for A God reposed in mortal guise. 

read Thy God reposed in mortal guise. 

P. 97, line 8, for That only on the lilies feeds. 

read That only 'mid the lilies feeds. 

P. 119. line 9, for His Godhead veiled from mortal eye 
read His Godhead veiled from mortal eyes. 



PREFACE. 



To be rightly understood, this work must be regarded, 
not as a collection of Hymns, but as a poem on the 
Incarnation, a poem dedicated to the honour of 
the Virgin Mother, and preserving ever, as the most 
appropriate mode of honouring her, a single aim, that 
of illustrating Christianity, at once as a Theological 
Truth, and as a living Power, reigning among the 
Humanities, and renewing the affections and imagina- 
tion of man. Theism was God's primal Revelation 
of Himself to the Patriarchal world ; and it included 
the promise of the Messiah. Christianity was that 
Authentic Theism with the Promises fulfilled. In it 
the One God revealed Himself in the Trinity, and 
gave Himself to man in the Incarnation. Of these 
two mysteries, the latter, comprising the more pal- 
pable aspect of Christianity, is the least beyond the 



viii PREFACE. 

range of the Poetic Art. But in Religion, the pal- 
pable, and the transcendent, although distinct, are 
never separated, except where Religion has been 
materialised. If the Three Parts of the present Poem 
begin and end with pieces which relate to " The Un- 
known God," or to the Blessed Trinity, the inter- 
mediate portions have ever a reference, not the less 
constant for being indirect, to those all-embracing 
Verities. 

We are alike meditating the Incarnation, whether our 
direct theme be Incarnate God, or that Virgin Mother 
through whom it pleased Him to become incarnate. 
In either case, our point of view is placed at the 
centre of Christianity. In the former case, the higher 
elevation commands a wider field of vision, and one 
"sun-clad'' with the glory of a stronger light. Yet, 
for some purposes, the lesser elevation and the fainter 
light are not without their advantages. We are not 
thus so much brought face to face with matter too 
awful for poetry. But in the Incarnation, the Atone- 
ment is, of course, included — the sacred Death in the ' 
assumption of that Life which subjected the Lord 
of Life to Death. The blood that trickles from the 
wound is the same blood that mantles also in the cheek 
of health. Christian Poetry must ever be a " Rosa 



PREFACE. ix 

Mystica," the palest leaf of which has a suffusion from 
Calvary. 

But this is not all ; — the Incarnation contains 
within itself all the mysteries of our Lord's Life on 
earth, His hidden life, His ministering life, His 
Sacramental life in His Church. That one mystery, 
" The Word was made Flesh," is, as St. John tells us, 
the test by which we are to " try the Spirits." Around 
it, all doctrines group themselves, and each of them 
has a special relation with her through whom He 
became Flesh. Some years ago, this truth could 
hardly have been illustrated for English readers of 
Poetry without controversy; and Poetry, though it 
may be Theological as well as Philosophical, can 
never be polemical. But that higher Teaching, of 
which Wilberforce's work on the Incarnation was 
an eminent and influential specimen in earlier days, 
and Keble's " Eucharistic Adoration " the most strik- 
ing in later, has left but a narrow field for discussion 
on this subject among those who are capable of com- 
prehending it. Few would now risk the assertion 
that the Angel might equally have been missioned to 
any other Hebrew Maiden as to Mary — that her Sacred 
Motherhood was but a material Instrumentality — 
that there was no connection between the Function 



x PREFACE. 

assigned to her, and that Grace which made her, more 
perfectly than any beside, hear the words of God and 
do them. The Consent — " Be it done unto me, 
according to Thy Word " — the Beatitude — " Blessed 
is she who believed," are now well understood : and 
the contrast drawn by antiquity between the Disobedi- 
ence of the First Eve and the Obedience of the Second 
is commonly appreciated. So again, as regards Mary's 
place in Holy Scripture. Few would now fail to see 
that she has a part in that first of Prophecies respect- 
ing the "Woman" and her "Seed," and in St. John's 
Vision of the Woman " clothed with the Sun," whose 
Son was ruling on high (whatever else may be referred 
to also in those passages), or scruple to confess with 
the Fathers, that from His Cross, our^Lord consigned 
all His brethren to His Mother, in St. John, to be 
her sons. Apart from other Types or Prophecies, she 
has thus a place at the beginning, at the close, and 
at the mid point of the Scriptural Scheme. Among 
the learned, it is now understood that there is as good 
reason for the fainter utterances of Holy Scripture, 
and for its occasional silences, as for its louder voice : 
— and that the meaning which each man can snatch 
for himself from the surface of the Written Word is to 
its full contents, no more that what Sense without 



PREFACE. xi 

Science can snatch from nature, when it has cast aside 
Telescope and Microscope. 

Wordsworth, in one of his later Sonnets, measur- 
ing the claims on our reverence possessed by Scien- 
tific Discovery, makes this the Test of its worth — 
"Help to Virtue does it give?" This is a test the 
force of which relatively to other subjects also few 
would dispute. If Mary holds, indeed, a peculiar 
office, relatively to Christian Truth, and the Christian 
Life, as she held, and ever retains one, relatively to 
Him Who is the Truth and the Life, this is matter 
in which virtue is concerned, and therefore the whole 
Intellect of Man, including his Imagination — that 
Imagination which, when it works lawlessly or in sub- 
jection to Sense, not Truth — is among man's most fatal 
seductions. Let us cast a glance round these two fields 
of thought \ and first, as to Revealed Truth. 

I. Mary's place in Theology reminds us then of 
the Fall, in the most pointed way, because, as the 
Mother of the Incarnate God, she had an Instru- 
mental part in that great Restoration, whereof the 
Second Adam was the sole me7'itorions cause. In 
Predestination, her part was also special : for in that 
original Decree, respecting the Incarnation, the base, 



xii PREFACE. 

as it were, of all subordinate Decrees, He Who 
" became Flesh," and she who clothed Him in Flesh, 
were both included. Redemption she preaches to 
us specially, because she was its first-fruits, being 
redeemed, not only from the punishment of sin, but 
from sin itself through the foreseen merits of her 
Son. She tells us of Grace, because it was only in 
consequence of being "full of grace" that her soul 
was so strengthened as to exclude all corruption from 
first to last. So again of Mediation. God, Who 
might have conferred all His Gifts on us immediately -, 
has conferred them all through the One Mediator. 
Throughout the whole economy of Redemption, a 
vast system of " Mediation " is carried out, deriving 
its whole virtue from the one great Mediator, but 
binding together all His family on earth in offices of 
Supernatural Love and mutual good, as the domestic 
and social Ties bind them in offices of natural love 
and help. In this great System, Mary, assisting us as 
she does relatively to every part of our being, and as a 
Mother, has an office that belongs to her alone among 
the Saints, and yet remains" wholly distinct from that 
of the King of Saints. In mediation, in the sense of 
Atonement, even the Mother of the x\toner has no 
part ; in Intercession, another form of mediation, 



PREFACE. xiii 

she has incomparably the highest part among all 
those who are commanded to make intercession one 
for another. And yet even the highest of creatures 
has no more a part than the lowest in that which 
constitutes the incommunicable Intercession of her 
Son, viz., His perpetual Presence in Heaven, the 
Regal Presence of that Divine Priest, who offers there 
for ever that Human Body which suffered on earth. 
What else can bring home to us so vividly the 
remembrance that the Atonement was a Divine Act, 
and that prayer, too, rests upon a mystery that is 
more than human? The chief of creatures stood 
beside her Son's Cross, and offered Him to His 
Eternal Father: — but this her Offering was not the 
Atonement. They prayed together on earth. He 
Who in His unimaginable Humility condescended to 
be ever learning, in one way of knowledge, what in 
a higher way He already knew, had learned from her 
to pray : yet, even then, between the might of her 
prayer and of His, there lay an Infinity. 

Everywhere we find that the clear conception 
and familiar contemplation of the highest Created 
Greatness are the preconditions for worthy thoughts 
respecting that Greatness which is Uncreated. This 
is most felt the higher that Mystery in connection 



xiv PREFACE. 

with which we contemplate Created Excellence. It 
cannot eclipse what is immeasurably above itself: — 
it can assist in defining it to our intelligence, as the 
straight line measures the curve. Thus, as to the 
Mystery of the Blessed Trinity. It is simply impos- 
sible, as history has proved, to question that doctrine 
where Mary is reverenced at every hearth as Mother 
of God the Son — Who is given to man by the 
Eternal Father, in the Love and Power of the Holy 
Spirit. The Title, "Mother of God," was accorded 
to Mary at the General Council of Ephesus, not 
because there was then any question relatively to her, 
but solely because, when all other Tests had failed, 
that Title was found the surest vindication of her 
Son's Divinity against Nestorian prevarication. So, 
again, as Cardinal Newman has remarked, her position 
in Theology obviously excludes the Arian Heresy, 
which, denying our Lord's Divinity, leaves Him no 
place but that of chief among creatures, the exact 
place which she fills. In any system not identified with 
the doctrine of the Trinity, as well as admitting it, 
there could be no more room for Mary than there 
could be room for a colossal statue in a low-roofed cave. 
And so of Theism. There is a true, and there 
is a false, Theism. No one can fail to feel the dis- 



PREFACE. xy 

tinction between the Authentic Idea of God, and 
an arbitrary abstraction made by Man's Intelligence, 
if he has always known that between Him Who is 
the Infinite, and her who is the highest of creatures, 
the interval still remains infinite — that, compared 
with Him Who is Absolute Being, she who is the 
crown of all created excellence, remains but a 
crowned Dependance, the most creaturely of all 
creatures, the Handmaiden to whose lowliness He 
had regard. We may go farther. The place divinely 
assigned to Mary is the protection not so much 
of any doctrine in Religion, however fundamental, 
as of Religion itself in its essence. Mary is the 
guardian of all those mysteries which relate to the 
Sacred Infancy : through her Holy Church keeps a 
perpetual Christmas \ rejoicing in mysteries which 
can never lose their objective character and his- 
torical attestation. Through Mary the Palpable 
is preserved in the Spiritual, and the Truth of 
Fact holds its own against that subjective habit 
of the modern mind, which, " with error opposite 
to that of Narcissus," to quote Dante, wastes away 
because it imagines that it sees but its own face in 
all things, believing in no other reality. This form 
of Philosophic Hypochondria makes Religion itself 



xvi PREFACE. 

but a type of good things, not the living bond, by 
which fallen man is bound again (re-ligatus) to his 
Creator, through that Truth which alone is Freedom. 
This is the most dangerous form of unbelief, be- 
cause the most plausible. It leaves sacred names 
unchanged. By a sort of evil transubstantiation, it 
changes into itself the substance of Religion, leaving 
its accidents unaltered. The " Species " remain to 
give speciousness to a Philosophy whose ambition 
it is, not to overthrow this or that Religion, but it- 
self to take the place of all Religion. If such 
a Philosophy were accepted, it would speedily be 
worked up into newer forms of thought. " The 
earth hath bubbles as the water hath : " but this 
dusky bubble would soon break. It is not a ques- 
tion as to the best of Religions, but as to Religion, 
the Last and the Sole, together with all its gifts and 
bequests — so often insidiously turned against itself. 

The chief intellectual dangers are often those of 
a gradual character. The human mind, insensibly 
shrivelling up and dwarfing itself, reduces to petti- 
ness its loftiest subjects of thought, without per- 
ceiving the change. It is thus with Theism. 
Nations have believed in a God, and yet come to 
believe that He created Man without Free-Will, 



PREFACE. xvii 

although with responsibility. Schools of Philo- 
sophy have exulted in that supposed discovery of 
modern times — a God in whom Sanctity has little 
part — the Philanthropist, the Mechanist, and Con- 
triver. But conceptions of God more ambitious, 
are at least as spurious. Thus, there are some 
who think the system of Reward and Punish- 
ment, of Heaven and Hell, unworthy of a Divine 
Revelation \ — not knowing that God is Himself 
Heaven • and that Hell is the exile from God, self- 
inflicted by persistent hate of Him. As well might 
they quarrel with Virtue for being " its own Reward" 
Others would subordinate to His own Creation that 
Being, Whose Attributes, of which we know so few, 
exceed in number all the possible combinations of 
notes on all the harps that praise Him, and Whose 
Essence stretches inimitably beyond Angelic ken. 
They have never really taken in the difference be- 
tween the Creator and the Creature, and their short- 
comings have arisen, in part, from their having never 
fixed their attention on a sufficiently great exemplar 
of creaturely excellence. The diversity between dif- 
ferent grades of being becomes most marked when 
we contemplate the nobler specimens of each grade. 

It is easy to confound the lower forms of vegetable, 

b 



xviii PREFACE. 

with the lower forms of animal life ; but when we 
rise to the higher forms of each, their diversities are 
unmistakable. In reaching towards the Idea of 
Divinity, we are not helped, and we may be much 
hindered, by comparisons taken from Pagan Divini- 
ties ; for these last were often spurious and arbi- 
trary conceptions, as where Purity is embodied in 
the same Divinity as Pride. Such creations have 
no place in the truth of things. The highest idea 
of the creature, aids us to think worthily of the 
Creator, because it is a Truth ; and it helps us in the 
same way as Nature helps us to conceive of the 
Supernatural • viz., on the one hand, by analogies, 
and on the other, by contrasts. Let us illustrate 
these remarks by an example. Ambitious thinkers 
often exclaim against the theological statement, that 
God has made all things for Himself, and for His 
own glory, on the ground that it attributes to Him 
selfishness and vanity. This is more than mere con- 
fusion of mind. A man that makes himself his own 
object, doubtless defrauds his neighbour, who is of 
equal worth with himself; but, above all, he sins 
against that true Centre towards Whom all things 
should gravitate, by building up in self a false centre? 
and so deifying himself. But such statements have 



PREFACE. xix 

not even a meaning when applied to God. He 
alone is Absolute Being : suns and systems are but 
as motes in His beam. He is Himself the true Uni- 
verse ; and the created universe, material and imma- 
terial, was but an overflowing of that Eternal Love 
which had ever its infinite Operations and unmeasured 
Blessedness in the internal universe of the Blessed 
Trinity, and the relations of the Three Persons, One 
in the Unity of Godhead. These pretentious negations 
are but a clumsy attempt to assert in exclusiveness what 
has always been included in the authentic Confession 
of God, viz., that the Creator delights in creating the 
Good of His Creatures. But He more than creates 
that Good. He is that Good ; and this He could not 
be, were He not the Term and End of all things, as 
well as their Origin and their Life. God is all Love : 
and God is also His own Divine End. To evade 
the difficulty in reconciling these two statements — a 
difficulty which exists for "the Mind of the Sense" 
alone, and neither for Faith nor for the higher 
Reason— our "advanced thinkers" substitute, for 
the vast and manifold Idea of God, a notion alike 
arbitrary and false. They implicitly assert either that 
God is not the end of all things — that is, that He is 
not the Infinite, or else that what He is, He does 



xx PREFACE. 

not know Himself to be — in other words, that He is 
not the Truth. Their aspiration is to outsoar the 
anthropomorphism of the vulgar; their achievement 
is to create for themselves a God in their own image. 
They say, " our God shall not resemble a selfish and 
vain-glorious man ; " — and say it because their notion 
of God is but Man, magnified and modified. 

The humblest peasant's idea of Mary would of 
itself preserve him from such debased conceptions. 
He venerates her more than all other Saints, as he 
venerates Saints more than Kings ; but he knows 
that to offer to her the great Christian Sacrifice, 
would be, at once, as blasphemous and as prepos- 
terous as to offer it to the lowest of creatures, since 
the oblation ever presented, alike in Heaven and on 
earth, being Divine, and offered by a Divine Priest, 
can only be offered to the Holy Trinity. When the 
child just taught to pray, sees his parents kneel down 
to pray also, the greatness of the unseen Being, Who 
also permits Himself to be called Father, comes 
more closely in upon him than it could come if he 
only saw other children at their prayers. To witness 
the adorations of the angels would exalt our own. 
It is thus that they are exalted also by the thought, 
and by the daily footsteps in our hearts and lives, of 



PREFACE. xxi 

one, who, while venerated by the angels themselves 
as their Queen, bows herself down before God in an 
adoration, by so much deeper than theirs, by how 
much that Vision of His Glory accorded to her is 
higher than theirs, esteeming herself to be a nothing, 
and Him to be the Fullness of All. Is this, her 
estimate, an Illusion or a Truth ? If it be a Truth, 
that first and last of Truths must set its seal upon the 
Idea of God prevalent among those who revere her. 

These are but a few illustrations of the mode 
in which Mary ministers at the Table of her Son, 
for the solace of His Guests, like the Queenly 
matron sung of by the best among the Anglican 
Religious Poets since the days of George Herbert.* 
She is qualified thus to give help in the Church 
by a special characteristic — her resemblance to the 
Church. Few things can be said of the Mystic Bride 
which are not applicable to the Mother. Like Mary, 
the Church is Virgin and Mother ; and her fruitful- 
ness is, not in spite of, but in necessary association 
with her purity. If the Church is ever offering up 
her Divine Lord, so Mary offered Him at the Pre- 
sentation, at His death, and at every moment of His 
Life. If the Church is ever pleading for her children, 
* See Archbishop Trench's " Gertrude of Saxony." 



xxii PREFACE. 

so is Mary ; and the earliest pictorial representation of 
her is the "Orante" of the Catacombs, who stands, with 
outstretched arms, in endless intercession, among 
tombs still red with the martyrs' blood. If the "Sword" 
passed through her heart, the Church, too, has to 
suffer. If it was a hidden life that our Lord lived 
with His Mother for thirty years, it is a Sacramental 
Life that He leads with His Church. If Mary could 
be suspected, cannot the Church be reviled? The 
Church is a Teacher, and so is Mary : " Wisdom 
doth sit with children round her knees." It is not 
only as a Mother that Mary has a place at every 
hearth. Mr. Longfellow's " Golden Legend " has a 
passage of rare discernment, which illustrates the 
confidence reposed in Mary by that of little children 
in the intercession of an elder Sister. Mary has the 
elder Sister's teaching office no less. As Faith 
" comes by hearing," and as it is " with the heart 
man believeth," so the best part of what belongs to 
Religion is learned by us, not like the irksome 
school-lore of our boyhood, but like our native 
tongue, that is through sympathy and unconscious 
imitation. It is here that the elder sister is helpful. 
We all know how the younger children see through 
her eyes, and hear through her ears, and how the 



PREFACE. xxiii 

feeling, ere yet completely revealed in her face, is 
mirrored in the smile or blush upon theirs. She 
initiates not their thoughts only, but their percep- 
tions : and out of a thousand germs latent in their 
minds, her influence vivifies such as are destined to 
emerge into reality. Mary has such an office among 
the children of Adoption. She moves beside us : 
she goes in before us. It has been well remarked, 
that the Hymn " Stabat Mater" penetrates our hearts 
because it makes us gaze on the Cross, not so much 
with our own eyes, as through those of the chief 
of the Bereft. But Mary assists equally in sunning 
out every other Christian Affection. In her " Magni- 
ficat " she daily leads forth the triumph of the Meek ; 
annually her Paschal Anthem, " Laetare Regina," 
helps those that wept to rejoice. To this day the 
"Ausonian Shepherds" leave their flocks on the 
mountains, as Christmas draws near, take their stand 
beneath the pictures of the Madonna at the corner 
'of every Roman street, and, with these reedpipes 
that once but made boast of sheepfold or orchard 
store, gratulate her through whom " to us a Child 
is given." There are lessons without sermons 
— a lore that calls the sage away from his lamp. 
Who would not advance more bravely if an Ang^el 



xxiv PREFACE. 

held his hand ? In our earthly pilgrimage we are 
given these helps because we have been given instincts 
which demand them 5 and the Supernatural does not 
despise the Natural. To us, too, is extended a hand, 
all light ; and it loosens itself from ours, but to 
beckon to us from the heavenly shore. The thought 
of Mary amid the heavenly Court, is the thought of 
our own pilgrimage accomplished, and our rest com- 
pleted. The Church is ever " stepping westward," 
and her endless evening does not lack its Evening 
Star. The remoter and full-orbed glory of Mary 
shines in the eyes of the Militant Church beyond 
this vale of tears — an image of the Church 
Triumphant. 

Few things are more wonderful than the difference 
between the relations in which Mary stands to Chris- 
tian Science, and to the Teaching of that Science. 
Her mere position strengthens the Church as with a 
fortified citadel ; yet her Teaching is of all Teaching 
the most unpolemical. It leaves a blessing even at 
the door that will not open to it, but with the franker 
natures it leaves the heritage of that Truth which is 
one with Love. It is in the heart that it lodges Truth 
— that heart which it " penetrates without a wound," 
knowing: that thence it must ascend into the higher 



PREFACE. xxv 

Intellect, and diffuse itself through the being. It 
conquers the Controversial Spirit, that Fury of the 
Schools, without a battle, by leaving for it no place : 
and thus Religion remains the soft but mighty 
Mother of Man, and Truth retains her placid seat 
in a Temple which attack alone can convert into a 
Fortress. When the Faith is associated from early 
days with those unhappy contentions, which are but 
its accidents, there Religion may either live on as a 
boast, protected by the Institutes it protects, or it 
may be trampled out as a cause of offence ; but in 
either case its essence is ignored. It gives little 
glory to ~God, and no peace to men. It bickers 
on every hearth, sows the Dragon's teeth in every 
field, inflames every youthful presumption, and en- 
venoms every sore of age. There is no greatness 
which the Spirit of Controversy cannot reduce to 
littleness. We deal with God's Word as we do with 
His Works. Half-a-dozen obtrusive white houses, 
' scattered along a range of hills, so arrest the eye, and 
force it to draw imaginary lines connecting house 
with house, that in the invisible net-work of this luck- 
less geometry, all the grace and the might of moun- 
tain outlines is lost. So fares it with the sacred 
Scriptures, when favourite Texts have become the 



xxvi PREFACE. 

entrenched camps of amateur Controversialists : — 
they may know the Bible by heart ; but for them 
the Word of God exists not. Never once can they 
wander through its infinitudes with the reverent eye 
of the Seer, with the simple wonder, the loving 
delight, the blameless curiosity of the child. For 
the love of Truth they have substituted the love of 
Knowledge discovered, and the joy of contention. 

But the remedy ? Does it lie in disparaging Doc- 
trine ? Certainly not ; for Revelation not setting 
forth a Truth would be no Revelation. Does it lie 
in substituting Love for Truth, as the soul of Chris- 
tianity ? Certainly not \ for Christian Love is 
inseparable from Christian Truth. To love a Divine 
Redeemer, we must know that He is Divine ; and all 
the Councils for successive Centuries were needed 
but to refute the Errors that assailed that Truth. 
Such warfare must always be going on. On some 
far border of the Christian Empire, there will be 
always eruptions of new Barbarians ; and they must 
ever be repelled, lest they should reach hearth and 
home. The battle of Truth must last till its last foe 
is destroyed. The Luminary that lights that battle- 
field is the Mystery of " The Word made Flesh ■ " — a 
sister orb reflects its light : — and to the end the 



PREFACE. xxvii 

prayer of the Prophet-Chief will ascend — " Sun, 
stand thou still upon Gibeon, and thou, Moon, 
in the Valley of Ajalon." Relatively to Christian 
Science, Mary has a place, so inextricably inter- 
woven with it throughout, that she cannot but add 
force to its most stringent affirmations, and a severer 
exactitude to its most refined definitions. Religion 
is not a Science ; but it has its Science, and can 
never discard it. If, relatively to that Science, as 
well as to the teaching of it, Mary is a help to the 
Christian Church, here, again, we find that she helps 
her because she resembles her. Mary " pondered all 
these things in her heart." This is what the Church 
is ever doing in her Theological processes. She 
remembers and she witnesses. Her Science is based 
upon her profound and secure heart-appreciation of 
that Truth originally committed to her ; and consists 
in following onward that changeless Truth into 
clearer light, from Definition to Definition, as the 
Providence of God suggests, and His Grace permits, 
through the aid of that Spirit Who was sent to the 
Apostles, both that He might call all things to their 
minds, and also that He might lead them on into all 
Truth. With a method chiefly Deductive, she deals 
with the great Truths committed to her, as the 



xxviii PREFACE. 

Mathematician deduces corollary from proposition. 
Thus, only, could a method of Thought exist in 
connection with a subject matter to which Induction 
and Experiment are as obviously inapplicable as a 
priori reasoning is to Natural Philosophy. But such 
Theological Thought, what is it ? It is a long 
Meditation. It is to " ponder all these things in 
her heart." Relatively to our intellects, Mary is thus 
a Type of the Christian Church's Unity ; and the 
Type again is a bond, moral, not governmental, 
that cements that Unity. 

II. We have considered, though most inadequately, 
Mary's Office in connection with Christian Truth : 
let us now turn to the second subject, her office 
relatively to the Christian Life. It consists largely in 
ennobling human Affections by elevating our concep- 
tion of human Ties. If we do not exercise our Affec- 
tions as Theologians say, u in God" they must be Idola- 
tries; since, in that case, the stronger they are. the 
more they must lead us from God, binding us, not to 
heaven, but to earth. They must thus become the 
prisons of Love, or its sepulchral vault, not its 
temples or its palaces. But in Mary we have a 
Love at once the strongest, as a human love, and 



PREFACE. xxix 

the most obviously a deliverer from the Idolatries of 
human love. To her Son, in His Human Nature, 
Mary stood in the relation, not of a Parent alone, 
but of Sole Parent ; yet her love for Him not only 
was consistent with a sovereign love for God, but 
lived in, and advanced with, her love of God; for her 
Son was God. The Affection corresponded with the 
Tie. All human Ties met in her, in their essential 
Unity. We venerate the Virginal estate, and we 
venerate the maternal ; but in Mary these two glories 
were united, in a union only less wonderful than that 
of the Two Natures in her Son. It is a revelation 
of Woman, such as she was created — not as the 
mere Female of an animal-intellectual Race ; but as 
one of those two forms in which Humanity, made in 
the Divine Image, was permitted to mirror its mani- 
fold and Infinite Creator. Mary has a peculiar 
office also relatively to her Son's human character. 
Parallel mountain ranges help us far more to con- 
ceive height, than a single range could do, although 
the highest : and thus the spotless Humanity of 
Mary, when duly pondered, is a great assistance to 
us in conceiving the Human Character of our Lord, 
the altitudes of which we cannot always measure with 
entire reverence, and our endeavours fully to realise 



xxx PREFACE. 

which, in what seems nearest to ourselves, sometimes 
fails, to the extent of an implicit, though not explicit, 
denial of His Divinity. The Redeemed Humanity, 
like the Unfallen, has been set forth before us in a 
twofold Type. The Virgin Maternity has fixed in 
the heart of that Humanity an Idea never to be 
dislodged. There it sits ever since, enthroned ; and 
thence it diffuses blessing over those who but dimly 
apprehend it, and tenfold blessing over those who 
" discern " it. This Idea has done for human Life 
what the most authentic Theism could not by itself 
have done. Amongst its many gifts, it has lifted to 
an immeasurable height the Institute of Marriage, 
which received its first benediction in Paradise ; it 
has consecrated it into a Sacrament, and rendered it 
irrevocable. It has done this, in no small measure, 
by giving it the counterweight of the Conventual 
Life. It was impossible for the married Sister to 
remember the Sister beneath the veil, without re- 
membering also that the home brightened with chil- 
dren, and the convent home on its lonely height, 
must alike, though in different fashions, be homes of 
Reverence and of Worship, of Purity and of Peace. 
From these two Homes went forth Christian Civili- 
sation. There moved over the earth a conception of 



PREFACE. xxxi 

Human Character such as the Greek had never 
dreamed of. It was that of Womanhood. It had 
not the strut of the Pagan Hero or Demigod ; but it 
was greater than all the gods. And yet how few 
elements made up that greatness ! — only Humility, 
Purity, and Love. And with how few franchises it 
was endowed ! Only with the joy of one who from 
childhood had panted for Divinity, as the hart for 
the waterbrooks, and had found Him; and again, 
with the sorrow inseparable from Love in a world of 
sin — the Sorrow of a Heart transfixed, and from 
which the Sword never departed. Such was the highest 
Christian Idea of Womanhood. It came from Mary. 
It took its place beside that Image of Man associated 
with the " Ecce Homo " — the purple robe of regal 
dignity, and the Head crowned with a crown of 
thorns. 

That fair and fruitful Idea which set free the 
intelligence and the heart of man, raised his Imagina- 
tion proportionately, and created the Art of the 
Ages of Faith. It re-revealed Beauty — no longer 
the Syren's smile, but the radiance on the face of 
Truth — the sweetness and graciousness of Virtue 
itself. Everywhere throughout the worlds of Paint- 
ing, Sculpture, and Architecture, shone out that 



xxxii PREFACE. 

nobler Beauty, severe at once and tender, mystic yet 
simple, gladsome yet pathetic. It was a Spirit, but 
a Spirit ever embodying itself in sensible form, for 
the redemption of Sense. Compared with Classic 
Art, its insight was deep, and its flight was high : 
but it had one fixed home, the " Holy Family " — a 
limit apparently narrow, yet found to be inexhaus- 
tible. Again and again the mighty Masters returned 
to it, and gathered strength from the touch of their 
native soil. Art grew neither more heroic nor more 
beautiful when it abandoned that early Eden, and 
exchanged the higher for the lower knowledge. 
Religion, in keeping it central, had kept it human. 
The Holy Family was the centre at once of things 
earthly and things heavenly ; and Art, when it saw 
that Vision, wisely desired to build Tabernacles in 
its light, and whispered, " it [is good for us to be 
here." This was the true preaching of the Incarna- 
tion. The Pictured Prophet or Apostle might be 
honoured though only for the word spoken, or the 
deed done ; but that Infant on His Mother's knee 
could have significance for one cause alone, viz., 
because He was God. 

These, then, are some of the moral influences 
which are connected with the love and reverence of 



PREFACE. xxxiii 

Mary, rightly understood, and which are not the less 
precious, because, like the Bible, the Sacraments, 
and all else that is good and helpful, they are capable 
of being abused instead of used. To say depre- 
ciatingly, " But Mary could not but love her Child 
in God, and as God, since He was God," leaves the 
marvel undiminished. That marvel is, that God 
should have made the creation of a being such as 
Mary a part of the Redemptive Scheme. The Divine 
Redeemer might have taken to Himself a human 
form out of the dust of the earth, as Adam's body 
was taken ; or He might have been born, as Mary 
was, of earthly marriage, and yet have remained 
wholly exempt from earthly taint. But He willed it 
otherwise. He made both the Divine Maternity, and 
the Virginal Maternity, the means of the Incarnation: 
— and thus, by necessity, shone out this wondrous 
Sign in the face of Creation. The Sign grew clearer 
as it grew nearer. In the earlier dawn of prophecy 
it was said, u The Seed of the Woman;" in its later 
announcements, "A Virgin shall conceive." Those 
who understand the Incarnation will not imagine that 
to gaze in appreciating as well as in glad affection 
upon this Sign, has no tendency to draw us nearer 

to Incarnate God. 

c 



xxxiv PREFACE. 

There exists a very sublime doctrine respecting 
the Incarnation, which, though not a matter of 
defined Faith, has a peculiar interest in our own 
day. Scientific discovery has made the universe so 
vast a thing, that the modern Imagination, over- 
powered by its grandeur, and not weighing in the 
scales of Faith the comparative worth of Spirit and 
Matter, sometimes finds a difficulty in the statement 
merely that, for the sake of a Fallen Race on this 
petty planet, such an event as the Incarnation took 
place. Centuries before this difficulty had been felt 
or fancied, some of the Theological Schools had 
answered it. They had maintained, as a probable 
opinion, that, though the Fall doubtless imparted 
to the Incarnation its Expiatory character, and made 
the God-Man, the " Man of Sorrows," yet that Incar- 
nation itself would have taken place even if there 
had been no Fall, and taken place for the exaltation 
of the whole Creation, not merely for the Redemption 
of a part of it. According to this opinion, the Crea- 
tion, without the Incarnation, must ever have been 
an imperfect work. A finite Universe must have 
remained at an infinite distance from its Infinite 
Creator, buried far away, as it were, in a perpetual 
Exile — a Harp without a Harper — a robe with none 



PREFACE. xxxv 

to wear it. It was part of the Eternal Purpose that 
the Creator should Himself become a Creature, and 
thus assume His own Creation. That Creation is 
twofold, spiritual and material • and Incarnate God 
therefore assumed it most fitly in assuming the nature 
of man, who is made up of soul and body, his soul 
being the lowest link in the scale of the Spiritual 
Creation, while his body occupies the highest grade 
in that of material nature, as she works up succes- 
sively through her mineral, vegetable, and animal 
kingdoms, to her highest work, the frame of man. 
The " Good Shepherd " had ever decreed to go forth 
into the lonely desert of finite things, and bring back 
Creation, like a lost sheep on His Shoulder, to His 
Father's Throne. Creation, thus assumed, was at last 
to find a Divine King to rule it in equity, and a 
Divine Priest to offer up its Adorations, till then 
voiceless and dumb. From its Head in heaven to its 
remotest depths, the Universe, thus taken into alliance 
with God, was destined to become flooded with His 
grace. The unction of the great Priest must needs 
flow down "to the skirts of His clothing." 

This opinion involves nothing opposed to existing 
analogies. The visible world exists for the sake of 
Him Who made it, and stands to Him in manifold 



xxxvi PREFACE. 

relations of which we as yet know but a few. There 
is, therefore, no difficulty in the thought that, by the 
Incarnation of its Creator, it may have been in- 
definitely raised, and drawn closer to Him. It in- 
terprets between Him and His Intelligent Creation ; 
and the medium of communication may have been 
rendered fitter for its purpose — a more translucent 
and musical exponent. A World, once but God's 
outer Court, may have become His Temple, and may 
be destined to become His Holy of Holies. The 
earth was " cursed for man's sake;" — consequently 
the whole material Universe is capable, at least, of 
very different degrees of Blessedness, received by it 
and by it communicated, in connection with some 
Act, not human but divine. According to this 
teaching, the Spiritual part of Creation has had its 
full part in the Gift. In a Vision of the Divine 
Infant, and the all-blessed Mother, the Incarnation 
was presented to the reverence of the Angelic Hier- 
archies, the First-born of the Creative Love. It was 
a Revelation of God in His Infinite Condescension — 
nay, in the Humiliation of a Hypostatic union not 
contracted with the Angelic, but with the later, and 
humbler, human and material Creation ; and this 
Revelation was made to those who had hitherto 



PREFACE. xxxvii 

but known God in the splendours of His Power, and 
known Him through their own resplendent Faculties 
irradiated by His light. Those who turned away in 
Pride from the "enigma," and refused to adore with 
Supreme Worship their God " made Flesh," fell. 
Those who stood the test, and welcomed the Reve- 
lation, advanced instantaneously into a nearness with 
God commensurate with their profounder Knowledge 
of Him, and with that Love which Obedience alone 
ripens to its Perfection, and so passed at once into 
the state of Indefectibility. According to this teach- 
ing, the Incarnation had three distinct effects, apart 
from those wholly beyond our ken. To Fallen Man 
it gave his Restoration — to the Unfallen Angels their 
Instauration in Glory, endless and complete — to the 
material Universe, explored by us or unexplored, some 
more sacred and intimate relation with God, which ele- 
vated what had before been the Type of His Being into 
the Sacrament of His Presence, after a sort that we 
shall only fully comprehend when we fully comprehend 
the Resurrection of our own Bodies, and have ourselves 
become consummated, alike in Body and Soul.* 

* This subject is illustrated with depth and eloquence in Father 
Ventura's Conferences delivered at Paris, in the Rev. A. Hewit's 
44 Problems of the Age," and in M. Nicolas' profound and beautiful 
work, " La Vierge Marie." 



xxxviii PREFACE. 

This view of the Incarnation is referred to in 
many of the following poems, especially in " Caro 
factus est/'' p. 215. and " Regina Angelorum," p. 220 ; 
and by it were in no small degree suggested the 
descriptive pieces interspersed among the meditative. 
These last are an attempt towards a Christian render- 
ing of external nature. Nature, like Art, needs to be 
spiritualised, unless it is to remain a fortress in the 
hands of an adverse Power. The visible world is 
a passive thing, which ever takes its meaning from 
something above itself. In Pagan times, it drew its 
interpretation from Pantheism ; and to Pantheism — 
nay, to that Idolatry which is the popular application 
of Pantheism — it has still a secret, though restrained 
tendency, largely betrayed by modern Imaginative 
Literature, which is constantly dallying with Pagan 
Myths, though it is too cold to adore them — our 
Idolatries being chiefly those of " covetousness," law- 
less affection, and self-love. A World without Divinity, 
Matter without Mind, is intolerable to human instincts. 
Yet, on the other hand, there is much in fallen human 
nature which shrinks from the sublime thought of a 
Creator, and rests on that of a sheathed Divinity dif- 
fused throughout the universe, its life, not its maker. 
Mere personified elements, the Wood-God and River- 



PREFACE. xxxix 

Nymph, captivate the fancy and do not over-awe the 
soul. For a bias so seductive no cure is to be found, 
save in authentic Christianity. The whole truth, in 
the long run, holds its own better than the half 
truth ; and minds repelled by the thought of a God 
who stands afar off, and created the universe but to 
abandon it to general laws, fling themselves at the 
feet of a God made Man. When the "Word was 
made Flesh," a bridge was thrown across that gulf 
which had else for ever separated the Finite from 
the Infinite. The same high Truth which brings 
home to us the doctrine of a Creation, consecrates 
that Creation, reconstituting it into an Eden meet 
for an unfallen Adam and an unfallen Eve \ nay, 
exalting it into a heavenly Jerusalem, the dwelling- 
place of the Lamb and of the Bride. It does this, 
in part, through symbols and associations founded on 
the all-cleansing Blood and the all-sanctifying Spirit 
— symbols and associations the reverse of those in 
which an Epicurean mythology took delight. 

One w r ord on the form of this Poem. Religion is 
not, as has been proved by a few great examples 
among many failures, incapable of a treatment 
poetical, as well as metrical; but Religious Poetry 
can never be dialectic or systematic, much less con- 



xl PREFACE, 

troversial. Poetry — an ideal art — is most ideal 
in its meditative vein. It presents Ideas ; but it only 
suggests their coarser intermediate links, as the 
early Greek Sculptor but suggested the bridle of his 
brazen horse. Poetry has habitually a wide-handed 
synthesis, and can sharpen itself to a very keen 
analysis ; but its logic is the inner logic of imagina- 
tive Thought. It detects the remote analogy; but 
it is not careful to point out the obvious connection. 
It elicits Truths ; but it forces them on none. It 
wings them with image and allusion \ and bids them 
fare forth as they may : but they have to fare forth 
separately ; and the complete Poem must often appear 
to consist of but detached fragments, except so far as 
it possesses the unity of Truth, and the harmony of 
a common sentiment. Especially is this true when, 
as in the present instance, the poem is a Meditation. 
By necessity, therefore, this work belongs to the class 
of serial poems, a form of composition common among 
our Elizabethan Poets, who derived it from Petrarch 
and the Italians, and revived with deserved success, 
by some of our chief modern writers. 



CONTENTS. 



Prologue 



PART I. 

Who feels not, when the Spring once more 7 

Upon Thy Face, O God, Thy world .... 8 

All but unutterable Name 10 

How came there Sin to world so fair . . . .11 

Sancta Maria . . . . . . . .12 

Fest. Nativitatis B. V. M 13 

Ab Angelo Salutata 14 

Nihil respondit . . . . . . . 15 

" The Angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream " 17 

Fest. Visitationis . . 18 

Amor Innocentium • 19 

Fest. Nativitatis 21 

Protevangelion 22 

Dei Genitrix ......... 23 

Adolescentulae amaverunt te nimis 25 



CONTENTS. 



The infant year with infant freak 
Fest. Epiphaniae .... 
Fest. Epiphaniae .... 

Mater Dei 

Gaudium Angeiorum 

Legenda ..... 

Fest. Presentation is 

The First Dolour .... 

The golden rains are dashed against 

Legenda ..... 

The Second Dolour 

Saint Joseph ..... 

" Joseph, her Husband " 

Mater Christi .... 

Mater Christi .... 

Mater Creatoris .... 

Mater Salvatoris .... 

Her Foundations are on the Holy Hills 

Mater Admirabilis .... 

Mater Amabilis .... 

The Third Dolour 

Mater Filii 

When April's sudden sunset cold 

Mater Divinae Gratiae 

Not yet, not yet ! the Season sings 

The moon, ascending o'er a mass 

Nazareth . 

" The Secret of God is with them that fear Him ' 



COXTEXTS. 



xliii 



The golden day is dead at last 

11 Teste David cum Sibylla" .... 

" Teste David cum Sibylla " (Plato) 

" Teste David cum Sibylla" (Idea Platonica) 



PAGE 

59 
60 
62 
63 



PART II. 

Agios Athanatos .... 

Pastor Eternus .... 

The " Unknown God" . 

Jesiim Ostende .... 

Tunis Eburnea .... 

Authentic Theism .... 

Conservabat in Corde 

The kindly Transience 

Stronger and steadier every hour 

Mariae Cliens .... 

Speculum Justitiae .... 

Auxilium Christianorum . 

O Cowslips sweetening lawn and vale 

Ab Eterno Ordinata 

Three worlds there are : — the first of Se 

Alas ! not only loveliest eyes . 

Idolatria ..... 

" In Him we have our being " 

Tota Pulchra 

The night through yonder cloudy cleft 
Stella Matutina .... 



69 
70 
71 
73 
74 
75 
76 
77 
78 
80 
81 

83 
3 4 

85 
S6 
SS 

89 
90 
92 
93 
95 



xliv 



CONTENTS. 



The Flesh and the Spirit 

" Made subject to Vanity " 

Mater Divinse Gratia? 

The beginning of Miracles 

Detachment . 

Whitens the green field, daisy-strewn 

" Jesus and His Mother were there " 

Lumen Nuptiarum . 

If God, for each fair action wrought 

" When Thou hast set my heart at liberty 

Gratia? Plena 

Vas Insigne Devotionis . 

Expectatio 

The Letter and the Spirit 

The " Single Eye" 

Mystica .... 

Beati qui audiunt verbum Dei 

Deus Absconditus . 

The Veil 

Janua Cceli 

If sense of Man's unworthiness 

Causa Nostra? Loetitiae 

Stella Maris . 

Aaronis Virga 

Unica .... 

Regina Prophetarum 

Still on the gracious work proceeds 

Turris Davidica 



CONTENTS. 








xlv 


PAGE 


Ut Acies Ordinata 131 


As children when, with heavy tread 








132 


Sedes Sapientiae .... 








134 


Truth 










135 


Gens non Sancta 










136 


Mater Venerabilis . 










138 


The sunless day is sweeter yet 










139 


The Fourth Dolour 










140 


Refugium Peccatorum 










141 


The Fifth Dolour . 










. 142 


Stabat Mater .... 










144 


Regina Martyrum . 










. 145 


The Sixth Dolour . 










146 


The Seventh Dolour 










147 


Mater Dolorosa 










. 148 



PART III. 

Ascensio Domini 153 

Ascensio Domini 154 

Implicit Faith . 155 

Mater Viventium . . . . .. . 157 

A sudden sun-burst in the woods . . . . 158 

Dominica Pentecostes . . . . . . 159 

Dominica Pentecostes . . . . . . .161 

Here, in this paradise of light 162 

Regina Cceli . . . 163 

Advocata ......... 165 



xlvi 



COXTENTS. 



Fest. SS. Trinitatis 

Festum SS. Trinitatis 

Thronus Trinitatis . 

Regina Sanctorum Omnium 

Saint Joseph's Patronage 

Exaltavit Humiles . 

u Tu sola interemisti omnes Haereses 

Where is the crocus now, that first . 

" Ad Nives" 

Fest. Puritatis 

A low ground-mist, the hills betwee 

Foederis Area 

Spiritus Sponsa 

Orante . 

Respexit Humilitatem 

Mulier Fortis 

Qu Civitate Sanctificata Requievi 

Quasi Cedrus exultata sum in Libano 

Sapientia .... 

Beati mites .... 

Sine Labe originali Concepta 

Sine Labe originali Concepta . 

Sine Labe originali Concepta . 

Sine Labe originali Concepta . 

Sine Labe originali Concepta . 

Fremuerunt Gentes 

The Rainbow 

Ancilla Domini 



CONTENTS. 






xlvii 


PAGE 


Brow-bound with myrtle and with gold .... 201 


Corpus Christi .... 






. 202 


Corpus Christi .... 






• 203 


In morte Tutamen 






. 204 


The two last Gifts .... 






. 205 


Pleasant the swarm about the bough 






. 206 


Fest. Assumptionis .... 






. 208 


Elias and Enoch .... 






. 209 


De Monte Carmelo 






. 210 


Vas Spirituale .... 






. 212 


Sing on, wide winds, your anthem vast 






. 213 


Cceli enarrant .... 






. 214 


Caro factus est ... 






. 215 


Condescensio ..... 






. 217 


The Created Wisdom 






. 218 


Domus Aurea .... 






. 219 


Regina Angelorum 






. 220 


Regina Angelorum 






. 222 


Regina Angelorum 






• 223 


Mulier Amicta Sole 






. 224 


Regent of Change, thou waning Moon 






. 225 


Fire-breathing concourse of the stars 






. 227 


Is this, indeed, our ancient earth 






. 228 


No ray of all their silken sheen 






. 229 


Epilogue 






. 230 



PROLOGUE. 



prologue* 



Religion, she that stands sublime 
Upon the rock that crowns our globe, 

Her foot on all the spoils of time, 
With light eternal on her robe ; 

She, sovereign of the orb she guides, 
On Truth's broad sun may root a gaze 

That deepens, onward as she rides, 
And shrinks not from the fontal blaze : 

But they — her daughter Arts — must hide 
Within the cleft, content to see 

Dim skirts of glory waving wide, 
And steps of parting Deity. 

'Tis theirs to watch the vision break 

In gleams from Nature's frown or smile, 

The legend rise from out the lake, 
The relic consecrate the isle. 



PROLOGUE. 



Tis theirs to adumbrate and suggest ; 

To point toward founts of buried lore ; 
Leaving, in type alone expressed, 

What Man must know not, yet adore. 









For where her court true Wisdom keeps, 
'Mid loftier handmaids, one there stands 

Dark as the midnight's starry deeps, 

A Slave, gem-crowned, from Nubia's sands- 



O thou whose light is in thy heart, 

Reverence, love's mother ! without thee 

Science may soar awhile ; but Art 
Drifts barren o'er a shoreless sea. 



MAY CAROLS. 



PART I. 



1 I will put enmities between thee and the woman, and thy seed, 
and her seed."- Gen\ iii. 15. 



MAY CAROLS. 



i. 

Who feels not, when the Spring once more, 
Stepping o'er Winter's grave forlorn 

With winged feet, retreads the shore 
Of widowed Earth, his bosom burn ? 

As ordered flower succeeds to flower, 
And May the ladder of her sweets 

Ascends, advancing hour by hour 

From step to step, what heart but beats ? 

Some Presence veiled, in fields and groves, 
That mingles rapture with remorse ; — 

Some buried joy beside us moves, 

And thrills the soul with such discourse 



MAY CAROLS. 

As they, perchance, that wondering pair 

Who to Emmaus bent their way, 
Hearing, heard not. Like them our prayer 

We make : — "The night is near us . . Stay !" 

With Paschal chants the churches ring ; 

Their echoes strike along the tombs ; 
The birds their Hallelujahs sing; 

Each flower with nature's incense fumes. 



Our long-lost Eden seems restored : — 
As on we move with tearful eyes 

We feel through all the illumined sward 
Some upward-working Paradise. 



II. 

Upon Thy Face, O God, Thy world 
Looks ever up in love and awe ; 

Thy stars, in circles onward hurled, 
Sustain the steadying yoke of Law. 



MAY CAROLS. 

In alternating antiphons 

Stream sings to stream and sea to sea ; 
And moons that set and sinking suns 

Obeisance make, O God, to Thee. 

The swallow, winter's rage o'erblown, 
Again, on warm Spring breezes borne, 

Revisiteth her haunts well-known ; 
The lark is faithful to the morn. 

The whirlwind, missioned with its wings 
To drown the fleet or fell the tower, 

Obeys Thee as the bird that sings 
Her love-chant in a fleeting shower. 

Amid an ordered universe 

Man's spirit only dares rebel : — 

With light, O God, its darkness pierce ! 
With love its raging chaos quell ! 



MAY CAROLS. 



III. 



All but unutterable Name ! 

Adorable, yet awful, sound ! 
Thee can the sinful nations frame 

Save with their foreheads to the ground ? 

Soul-searching and all-cleansing Fire ! 

To see Thy Countenance were to die : 
Yet how beyond the bound retire 

Of Thy serene immensity? 

Thou mov'st beside us, if the spot 

We change — a noteless, wandering tribe : 

The planets of our Life and Thought 
In Thee their little arcs describe. 

In the dead calm, at cool of day, 

We hear Thy voice, and turn, and flee : 

Thy love outstrips us on our way : 
From Thee, O God, we fly — to Thee. 



MAY CAROLS. 



IV. 



How came there Sin to world so fair, 
Where all things seem to bask in God, 

Where breathes His Love in every air, 
His Life ascends from every sod ? 

O happy birds and happy bees, 

And flowers that flash through matin gems ! 
O happy trees, and happier breeze, 

That sweep'st their dewy diadems ! 

Why are not all things good and bright ? 

Why are not all men kind and true ? 
O World so beauteous, wise, and right, 

Your Maker is our Maker too ! 



MAY CAROLS. 

Sancta /lliana, 
v. 

Mary ! To thee the humble cry. 

What seek they ? Gifts to pride unknown. 
They seek thy help — to pass thee by : — 

They murmur, " Show us but thy Son." 

The childlike heart shall enter in ; 

The virgin soul its God shall see : — 
Mother, and maiden pure from sin, 

Be thou the guide : the Way is He. 

The mystery high of God made Man 
Through thee to man is easier made : 

Pronounce the consonant who can 
Without the softer vowel's aid ! 



MAY CAROLS. 13 

jfest. IRativntatis 3B- t>* fl>. 

VI. 

When thou wert born the murmuring world 
Rolled on, nor dreamed of things to be, 

From joy to sorrow madly whirled ; — 
Despair disguised in revelry. 

A princess thou of David's line ; 

The mother of the Prince of Peace ; 
That hour no royal pomps were thine : 

The earth alone her boon increase 

Before thee poured. September rolled 
Down all the vine-clad Syrian slopes 

Her robes of purple and of gold ; 
And birds sang loud from olive tops. 

Perhaps old foes, they knew not why, 
Relented. From a fount long sealed 

Tears rose, perhaps, to Pity's eye : 

Love-harvests crowned the barren field. 



14 MAY CAROLS. 

The respirations of the year, 

At least, grew soft. O'er valleys wide 

Pine-roughened crags again shone clear ; 
And the great Temple, far descried, 

To watchers, watching long in vain, 
To patriots grey, in bondage nursed, 

Flashed back their hope — " The Second Fane 
In glory shall surpass the First ! " 



Hb UwqcIo Salutata, 

VII. 

That angel's voice is in her ear 1 

Ah, not alone by Mary heard ! 
Like light it cleaves that region drear 

Where never sang the matin bird ! 

It thrills the expectant Hades ! They, 
The pair that once through Eden ranged, 

Amid their penal shadows gray 

Stand up and smile, this hour avenged ! 



MAY CAROLS. 15 

They see their queenly daughter grasp 
The Fruit of Life — her bridal dower : 

They see its boughs rush up, and clasp 
The sleeping earth with starry bower. 

Once more they tread that Eden bound : 
Far up — all round — at last, at last — 

They see God's mountains city-crowned ; 
In every fount they see it glassed. 

Why saw they not, the hour they fell, 
Those hills— that City " like a Bride " ? 

Then too it girt that garden dell, 

Predestined Heaven though undescried ! 



IRtbfl respon&it 

VIII. 

She hid her face from Joseph's blame, 
The Spirit's glory-shrouded Bride : 

The sword comes next ; but first the shame : 
Meekly she bore it : — nought replied. 



16 MAY CAROLS. 

In mutual sympathies we live : 

The insulted heart forgives, but dies : 

To her that wound was sanative, 
For life to her was sacrifice. 

At us no barbless shaft is thrown 

When charged with deeds by us unwrought ; 
For sins unchallenged, sins unknown, 

Worse sins have stained us — act, or thought. 

Her humbleness no sin could find 
To weep for : yet, that hour, no less 

Deeplier the habitual sense was shrined 
In her, of her own nothingness. 

That hour, foundations deeper yet 
God sank in her ; that so more high 

Her greatness, spire and parapet, 
Might rise, and nearer to the sky ; 

That, wholly over-built by grace, 
Nature might vanish, like some isle 

In great towers lost — the buried base 
Of some surpassing fortress pile. 



MAY CAROLS. 17 

IX. 

" The Angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream." 

'Twas not her tear his doubt subdued \ 
No word of hers announced her Christ : 

By him in dream that angel stood 

With warning hand. A dream sufficed. 

Where faith is strong, though light be dim, 
How faint a beam reveals how much ! 

The Hand that made the worlds on him 
Descended with a feather's touch. 

" Blessed for ever who believed : " — 
Like Her, through faith his crown he won : 

His heart the Babe divine conceived ; 
His heart was sire of Mary's Son. 

Hail, Image of the Father's Might ! 

The Heavenly Father's human shade ! 
Hail, silent King whose yoke was light ! 

Hail, Foster-sire whom Christ obeyed ! 



MAY CAROLS. 



Hail, Warder of God's Church beneath, 
Thy vigil keeping at her door 

Year after year at Nazareth ! 
So guard, so guide us evermore ! 



jfest IDtsitationis, 
x. 

The hilly region crossed with haste, 
Its last dark ridge discerned no more, 

Bright as the bow that spans a waste 
She stood beside her Cousin's door ; 

x\nd spake : — that greeting came from God ! 

Filled with the Spirit from on high 
Sublime the aged Mother stood, 

And cried aloud in prophecy, — 

" Soon as thy voice had touched mine ears 
The child in childless age conceived, 

Leaped up for joy ! Throughout all years 
Blessed the woman who believed." 



MAY CAROLS. 19 

Type of Electing Love ! 'tis thine 

To sound God's greeting from the skies ! 

Thou speak'st, and Faith, a babe divine, 
Leaps up thy Babe to recognise. 

Within true hearts the second birth 
Exults, though blind as yet and dumb. 

The child of Grace his hands puts forth, 
And prophesies of things to come. 



Hmor Jnnocenttum* 

XL 

Ascending from the convent-grates, 
The children mount the woodland vale. 

'Tis May-Day Eve ; and Hesper waits 
To light them, while the western gale 

Blows softly on their bannered line : 
And, lo ! down all the mountain stairs 

The shepherd children come to join 
The convent children at their prayers. 



20 MAY CAROLS. 

They meet before Our Lady's fane : 
On yonder central rock it stands, 

Uplifting, ne'er invoked in vain, 

That cross which blesses all the lands. 

Before the porch the flowers are flung ; 

The lamp hangs glittering 'neath the Rood ; 
The " Maris Stella " hymn is sung ; 

Their chant each morn to be renewed. 

Ah ! if a secular muse might dare, 
Far off, the children's song to catch ; 

To echo back, or burthen bear ! — 
As fitly might she hope to match 

The throstle's note as theirs, 'tis true : 
Yet, now and then, that borrowed tone, 

Like sunbeams flashed on pine or yew, 
Might shoot a sweetness through her own ! 



MAY CAROLS. 21 



tfcst. IRativntatts- 

XII. 

Primeval night had repossessed 
Her empire in the fields of space ; 

Calm lay the kine on earth's dark breast ; 
The earth lay calm in heaven's embrace. 

That hour, where shepherds kept their flocks, 

From God a glory sudden fell : 
The splendour smote the trees and rocks, 

And lay, like dew, along the dell. 

God's Angel close beside them stood : 

" Fear nought," that Angel said, and then, 

" Behold, I bring you tidings good : 
The Saviour Christ is born to men." 

And straightway round him myriads sang 

Again that anthem, and again, 
Till all the hollow valley rang, 

" Glory to God, and peace to men." 



MAY CAROLS. 



Thus in the violet-scented grove, 

The May breeze murmuring softly by them, 
The children sang. Who Mary love 

The long year through have Christmas nigh them ! 



l£rotev>angeUon, 

XIII. 

When from their lurking place the Voice 
Of God dragged forth that Fallen Pair, 

Still seemed the garden to rejoice; 
The sinless Eden still was fair. 

They, they alone, whose light of grace 
But late made Paradise look dim, 

Stood now, a blot upon its face, 

Before their God ; nor gazed on Him. 

They glanced not up ; or they had seen 
In that severe, death-dooming eye 

Unutterable depths serene 
Of sadly-piercing sympathy. 



MAY CAROLS. 23 

Not them alone that Eye beheld, 
But, by their side, that other Twain, 

In whom the race whose doom was knelled 

Once more should rise; once more should reign. 

It saw that Infant crowned with blood ; — 
And her from whose predestined breast 

That Infant ruled the worlds. She stood, 
Her foot upon the serpent's crest ! 

Voice of primeval prophecy ! 

Of all the Gospels head and heart ! 
With Him, her Son and Saviour, she 

Possessed, that hour, in thee a part ! 



Dei (Senitrij* 

XIV. 

I see Him : on thy lap He lies 
'Mid that Judaean stable's gloom : 

O sweet, O awful Sacrifice ! 

He smiles in sleep, yet knows the doom. 



24 MAY CAROLS. 

Thou gav'st Him life ! But was not this 
That Life which knows no parting breath ? 

Unmeasured Life ? unwaning Bliss ? 

Dread Priestess, lo ! thou gav'st Him death ! 

Beneath the Tree thy Mother stood j 

Beneath the Cross thou too shalt stand : — 

O Tree of Life ! O bleeding Rood ! 
Thy shadow stretches far its hand. 

That God who made the sun and moon 

In swaddling bands lies dumb and bound ! — 

Love's Captive ! darker prison soon 
Awaits Thee in the garden ground. 



He wakens. Paradise looks forth 
Beyond the portals of the grave. 

Life, life thou gavest ! — life to Earth, 
Not Him. Thine Infant dies to save. 



MAY CAROLS. 25 



H&olescentute amaverunt te nimis, 

xv. 

" Behold ! the wintry rains are past ; 
The airs of midnight hurt no more : 
The young maids love thee. Come at last ! 
Thou lingerest at the garden-door. 

" Blow over all the garden ; blow, 

Thou wind that breathest of the south, 
Through all the alleys winding low, 
With dewy wing and honeyed mouth ! 

" But wheresoe'er thou wanderest, shape 
Thy music ever to one Name : — 
Thou too, clear stream, to cave and cape 
Be sure thou whisper of the same. 

" By every isle and bower of musk 
Thy crystal clasps, as on it curls, 
We charge thee, breathe it to the dusk ; 
We charge thee, grave it in thy pearls." 



26 MAY CAROLS. 

The stream obeyed. That Name he bore 
Far out above the moon-lit tide. 

The breeze obeyed. He breathed it o'er 
The unforgetting pine ; and died. 



XVI. 

The infant year with infant freak, 

Intent to dazzle and surprise, 
Played with us long at hide and seek ; 

Turned on us now, now veiled her eyes. 

Between the pines for ever green, 
And boughs by April half attired, 

She glanced ; then sang, once more unseen, 
"The unbeheld is more desired." 



With footsteps vague, and hard to trace, 
She crept from whitening bower to bower ; 

Now bent from heaven her golden face, 
Now veiled her radiance in a shower. 



MAY CAROLS. 27 

Like genial hopes, and thoughts devout 
That touch some sceptic soul forlorn, 

And herald clearer faith, and rout 
The night, and antedate the mom, 

Her gifts. But thou, all-beauteous May, 
Art come at last. Oh ! with thee bring 

Hearts pure as thine with thee to play, 
And own the consummated spring. 

To hands by deeds unblest defiled 
In vain the whiteness of thy thorn : 

Proud souls, where lurks no more the child, 
For them thy violet is unborn ! 

For breasts that know nor joy nor hope 
Thy songstress sings an idle strain : 

Thy golden-domed laburnums drop 

O'er loveless hearts their bowers in vain. 



28 MAY CAROLS. 



fcst Epipbante, 

XVII. 

A veil is on the face of Truth : 
She prophesies behind a cloud ; 

She ministers, in robes of ruth, 
Nocturnal rites, and disallowed. 

Eleusis hints, but dares not speak ; 

The Orphic minstrelsies are dumb ; 
Lost are the Sibyl's books, and weak 

Earth's olden faith in Him to come. 

But ah, but ah, that Orient Star ! 

On straw-roofed shed and large-eyed kine 
It flashes, guiding from afar 

The Magians' long-linked camel-line ! 

Gold, frankincense, and myrrh they bring — 
Love, Worship, Life severe and hard : 

Their symbol gifts the Infant King 
Accepts ; and Truth is their reward. 



MAY CAROLS. 29 

Rejoice, O Sion, for thy night 

Is past : the Lord, thy Light, is born : 

The Gentiles shall behold thy light; 
The kings walk forward in thy morn. 



tfcst. Epipbante* 

XVIII. 

They leave the land of gems and gold, 
The shining portals of the East ; 

For Him, " the Woman's Seed " foretold, 
They leave the revel and the feast. 

To earth their sceptres they have cast, 
And crowns by Kings ancestral worn ; 

They track the lonely Syrian waste ; 
They kneel before the Babe new-born. 

O happy eyes that saw Him first ! 

O happy lips that kissed His feet ! 
Earth slakes at last her ancient thirst ; 

With Eden's joy her pulses beat. 



30 MAY CAROLS. 

True Kings are those who thus forsake 
Their kingdoms for the Eternal King — 

Serpent ! her foot is on thy neck ! 

Herod ! thou writh'st, but canst not sting ! 

He, He is King, and He alone, 

Who lifts that Infant hand to bless ; 

Who makes His Mother's knee His Throne, 
Yet rules the starry wilderness. 



Abater E)eu 

XIX. 

How many a lonely hermit-maid 
Hath brightened like a dawn-touched isle 

When — on her breast in vision laid — 
That Babe hath lit her with His smile ! 

How many an aged Saint hath felt, 
So graced, a second spring renew 

Her wintry breast ; with Anna knelt, 
And trembled like the matin dew ! 



MAY CAROLS. 31 

How oft th' unbending monk, no thrall 
In youth of mortal smiles or tears, 

Hath felt that Infant's touch through all 
The armour of his hundred years ! 

But Mary's was no transient bliss ; 

Nor hers a vision's phantom gleam : 
The hourly need, the voice, the kiss — 

That Child was hers ! 'twas not a dream ! 

At morning hers, and when the sheen 
Of moonrise crept the cliffs along ; 

In silence hers, and hers between 
The pulses of the night-bird's song. 

And as the Child, the love. Its growth 
Was, hour by hour, a growth in grace : 

That Child was God ; and love for both 
Advanced perforce with equal pace. 



32 MAY CAROLS. 



Gau&ium Hngelorum* 
xx. 

11 He looked on her humility " — 

Ah humbler thrice that breast was made 

When Jesus watched His mother's eye, 
When God each God-born wish obeyed ! 

In her with seraph seraph strove, 
And each the other's purpose crost : 

And now 'twas Reverence, now 'twas Love 
The peaceful strife that won or lost. 

Now to that Infant she extends 

Those hands that mutely say " mine own ! " 
Now shrinks abashed, or swerves and bends 

As bends a willow backward blown. 

And ofttimes, like a roseleaf caught 

By eddying airs from fairy land, 
The kiss a sleeping brow that sought 

Descends upon the unsceptred hand ! 



MAY CAROLS. 33 

O tenderest awe whose sweet excess 

Had ended in a fond despair 
Had not the all-pitying helplessness 

Constrained the boldness of her care ! 

O holiest strife ! The angelic hosts 
That watched it hid their dazzled eyes, 

And lingered from the heavenly coasts 
To bless that heavenlier Paradise ! 



XXI. 

O wearied Souls, by earth beguiled, 

Round whom the world's enthralments close, 

Look back on her, that three-years' child, 
Who first the life conventual chose ! 

A nun-like veil was o'er her thrown ; 

Her locks by fillet-bands made fast, 
Swiftly she climbed the steps of stone ; 

Into the Temple swiftly passed. 



34 MAY CAROLS. 

Not once she paused her breath to take ; 

Not once cast back a homeward look : 
As longs the hart his thirst to slake, 

When noontide rages, in the brook, 

So longed that child to live for God ; 

So pined, from earth's enthralments free, 
To bathe her wholly in the flood 

Of God's abysmal purity ! 

Anna and Joachim from far 

Their eyes on that white vision raised ; 
And when, like caverned foam, or star 

Cloud-hid, she vanished, still they gazed. 



jfest presentationis, 

XXII. 

Twelve years had passed, and, still a child 
In brightness of the unblemished face, 

Once more she scaled those steps, and smiled 
On Him who slept in her embrace. 



MAY CAROLS. 

As in she passed there fell a calm 
On all : each bosom slowly rose 

Like the long branches of the palm 

When under them the south wind blows. 

The scribe forgot his wordy lore ; 

The chanted psalm was heard far off; 
Hushed was the clash of golden ore ; 

And hushed the Sadducean scoff. 

Type of the Church, the gift was thine ! 

'Twas thine to offer first, that hour, 
Thy Son — the Sacrifice Divine, 

The Church's everlasting dower ! 

Great Priestess ! round that aureoled brow 
Which cloud or shadow ne'er had crossed, 

Began there not thenceforth to grow 
A milder dawn of Pentecost ? 



36 MAY CAROLS. 

Zbc 3Ftrst Dolour. 

(Gladio Transfixa.) 

XXIII. 

To be the mother of her Lord — 

What means it ? This ; a bleeding heart ! 

The pang that woke at Simeon's word 
Worked inward, never to depart. 

The dreadful might of Sin she knew 
As Innocence alone can know : 

O'er her its deadliest gloom it threw 
As shades lie darkest on the snow. 

Yet o'er her Sorrow's depth no storm 
Of earth's rebellious passion rolled : 

So sleeps some lake no gusts deform 
High on the dark hills' craggy fold. 

In that still glass the unmeasured cliff, 
With all its scars and clouds is shown : 

And, mellowed in that Mother's grief, 
At times, O Christ, we catch Thine own ! 



MAY CAROLS. 37 



XXIV. 



The golden rains are dashed against 
Those verdant walls of lime and beech 

Wherewith our happy vale is fenced 
Against the north ; yet cannot reach 

The stems that lift yon leafy crest 
High up above their dripping screen : 

The chestnut fans are downward pressed 
On banks of bluebell hid in green. 

White vapours float along the glen, 
Or rise from every sunny brake ; — 

A pause amid the gusts — again 

The warm shower sings across the lake. 

Sing on, all-cordial showers, and bathe 
The deepest root of loftiest pine ! 

The cowslip dim, the " primrose rathe " 
Refresh ; and drench in nectarous wine 

Yon fruit-tree copse, all blossomed o'er 
With forest-foam and crimsoned snow — 

Behold ! above it bursts once more 
The world-embracing, heavenly bow ! 



38 MAY CAROLS. 



xxv. 

As, flying Herod, southward went 
That Child and Mother, unamazed, 

Into Egyptian banishment, 

The weeders left their work, and gazed. 

That bright One spake to them, and said, 
"When Herod's messengers demand, 
. Passed not the Infant, Herod's dread, — 
Passed not the Infant through your land ? 

" Then shall ye answer make, and say, 
Behold, since first the corn was green 

No little Infant passed this way ; 
No little Infant we have seen." 

Earth heard ; nor missed the Maid's intent — 
As on the Flower of Eden passed 

With Eden swiftness up she sent 
A sun-browned harvest ripening fast. 



MAY CAROLS. 39 

By simplest words and sinless wheat 
The messengers rode back beguiled ; 

And by that truthfullest deceit 

Which saved the little new-born Child ! 



TLbc Second 2>olour, 

(Cum Filio Profuga.) 

XXVI. 

The fruitful River slides along ; 

The Conqueror's City glitters nigh ; 
The Palm-groves ring with dance and song ; 

Earth trembles, crimsoned from the sky. 

Far down the sunset, lonely stands 

Some temple of a bygone age, 
Slow-settling into sea-like sands, 

Long served with prayer and pilgrimage. 

Here ruled the Shepherd-Kings, and they 
That race from Sun and Moon which drew 

The unending lines of Priestly sway : 
Here Alexander's standard flew. 



40 MAY CAROLS. 

Here last the great Caesarian star 

Through Egypt's sunset flashed its beam, 

While pealed the Roman trump afar, 
And Earth's first Empire like a dream 

Dissolved. But who are they — the Three 
That pierce, thus late, yon desert wide ? 

The Babe is on His Mother's knee ; 
Low-bent an old Man walks beside. 

What say'st thou, Egypt ? " Let them come ! 

Of such as little note I keep 
As of the least of flies that hum 

Above my deserts, or my deep ! " 



Saint Josepb- 

XXVII. 

True Prince of David's line ! thy chair 
Is set on every poor man's floor : 

Labour through thee a crown doth wear 
More rich than kingly crowns of yore ! 



MAY CAROLS. 41 

True Confessor ! thine every deed, 
While error ruled the world, or night, 

Confessed aright the Christian creed, 
The Christian warfare waged aright. 

Teach us, like thee, our heart to raise, 

In toil, not ease, contemplatist ; 
Like thee, o'er lowly tasks to gaze 

On her whose eyes were still on Christ. 

O teach us, thou whose ebbing breath 
Was watched by Mary and her Son, 

To welcome age, await in death 

True life's true garland, justly won. 



"Sosepb, bet imsbaufc/' 

XXVIII. 

Gladsome and pure was Eden's bower :- 
Saint Joseph's house was holier far, 

More rich in Love's auguster dower, 
More amply lit by Wisdom's star. 



42 MAY CAROLS. 

The Queen of Virgins, where he sate, 
Beside him stood and watched his hand, 

His daughter-wife, his angel-mate, 
Submissive to his least command. 

Hail, Patriarch blest and sage ! on earth 
Thine was the bridal of the skies ! 

Thy house was heaven : for by its hearth 
A God reposed in mortal guise. 

Hail ! life most sweet in life's decline ! 

Hail death, than life more bright, more blest ! 
The hands of Mary clasping thine, 

Thy head upon the Saviour's breast ! 



flDater Cbristu 

XXIX. 

Daily beneath His mother's eyes 
Her Lamb matured His lowliness : 

'Twas hers the lovely Sacrifice 

With fillet and with flower to dress. 



MAY CAROLS. 

Beside that mother's knee He knelt ; 

With heavenly-human lips He prayed : 
His Will within her will she felt ; 

And yet His Will her will obeyed. 

Gethsemane ! when day is done 

Thy flowers with falling dews are wet : 

Her tears fell never ; for the sun 

Those tears that brightened never set. 

The house was silent as that shrine 
The priest but entered once a year. 

There shone His emblem. Light Divine ! 
Thy presence and Thy power were here ! 



/Iliater Cbristu 
xxx. 

He willed to lack ; He willed to bear ; 

He willed by suffering to be schooled ; 
He willed the chains of flesh to wear : 

Yet from her arms the worlds He ruled. 



44 MAY CAROLS. 

As tapers 'mid the noontide glow 

With merged, yet separate, radiance burn, 

With human taste and touch, even so, 
The things He knew He willed to learn. 

He sat beside the lowly door : 

His homeless eyes appeared to trace 

In evening skies remembered lore, 
And shadows of His Father's face. 

One only knew Him. She alone 
Who nightly to His cradle crept, 

And, lying like the moonbeam prone, 
Worshipped her Maker as He slept. 



/IDater Creatoris* 



XXXI. 



Bud forth a Saviour, Earth ! fulfil 
Thy first of functions, ever new ! 

Balm-dropping heaven, for aye distil 
Thy grace like manna or like dew ! 



MAY CAROLS. 45 

"To us, this day, a Child is born." 

Heaven knows not mere historic facts : — 

Celestial mysteries, night and morn, 
Live on in ever-present Acts. 

Cavalry's dread Victim in the skies 
On God's great altar rests even now : 

The Pentecostal glory lies 

For ever round the Church's brow. 

From Son and Father, He, the Lord 
Of Love and Life, proceeds alway • 

Upon the first creative word 

Creation, trembling, hangs for aye, 

Nor less ineffably renewed 

Than when on earth the tie began, 

Is that mysterious Motherhood 

Which re-creates the worlds and man, 



46 MAY CAROLS. 



/IDater Salvatorfs. 

XXXII. 

O Heart with His in just accord ! 

O Soul His echo, tone for tone ! 
O Spirit that heard, and kept His word ! 

O Countenance moulded like His own ! 

Behold, she seemed on Earth to dwell ; 

But, hid in light, she ever sat 
Beneath the Throne ineffable, 

Chanting her clear Magnificat. 

Fed from the boundless heart of God, 
The joy within her rose more high, 

And all her being overflowed, 

Until that Hour decreed drew nigh. 

That hour, there crept her spirit o'er 
The shadow of that pain world-wide 

Whereof her Son the substance bore : — 
Him offering, half in Him she died ; 



MAY CAROLS. 47 

Standing, like that strange Moon, whereon 
The mask of Earth lies dim and dead, 

An orb of glory, shadow-strewn, 
Yet girdled with a luminous thread. 



et jfoun&ations are on tbe Ibois Ibills- 

XXXIII. 

Her Child, her God, in Nature's right 
She loved : we love Him but by Grace : — 

Behold ! our Virtue's proudest height 
Is lower than her Virtue's base ! 

Alone by holy Nature taught, 

All lesser mothers love their own : — 

Her love was Nature's love, heaven-caught, 
And lightning-lifted to the Throne. 

Her God ! alone through worship she 
Proportioned love for Him could prove ! 

Her God, and yet her Offspring ! He 
Both loved her, and was bound to love ! 



48 MAY CAROLS. 



/Ifoater B&miratrilis* 
xxxiv. 

O Mother-Maid ! to none save thee 

Belongs in full a Parent's name ; 
So fruitful thy Virginity, 

Thy Motherhood so pure from blame ! 

All other parents, what are they ? 

Thy types ! In them thou stood'st rehearsed 
'As they in bird, and bud, and spray). 

Thine Antitype ? The Eternal First ! 

Prime Parent He : and next Him thou ! 

O'ershowed by the Father's Might, 
Thy " Fiat " was thy bridal vow : 

Thine offspring He, the " Light from Light." 

Her Son Thou wert : her Son Thou art, 

O Christ ! Her substance fed Thy growth : 

Alone, she shaped Thee in her heart — 
Thy Mother and Thy Father both 



MAY CAROLS. 49 



/IDater Bmabilte. 

XXXV. 

Mother of Love ! Thy love to Him 
Cherub and seraph can but guess : — 

A mother sees its image dim 

In her own breathless tenderness. 

That infant touch none else could feel 
Vibrates like light through all her sense : 

Far off she hears his cry : her zeal 
With lions fights in his defence. 

Unmarked his youth goes by : his hair 
Still smooths she down, still strokes apart : 

The first white thread that meets her there 
Glides, like a dagger, through her heart. 

Men praise him : on her matron cheek 
There dawns once more a maiden red : 

Of war, of battle-fields they speak : 
She sees once more his father dead. 

D 



50 MAY CAROLS. 

In sickness — half in sleep — she hears 
His foot, ere yet that foot is nigh : 

Wakes with a smile ; and scarcely fears, 
If he but clasp her hand, to die. 



Zbc Ubirt) Bolour. 

(Filium quaerens.) 

XXXVI. 

Three days she seeks her Child in vain : 
He who vouchsafed that holy woe 

And makes the gates of glory pain, 
He, He alone its depth can know. 

She wears the garment He must wear ; 

She tastes His chalice ! From a Cross 
Unseen she cries, " Where art Thou, where ? 

Why hast Thou me forsaken thus?" 

With feebler hand she touches first 
That sharpest thorn in all His Crown, 

Worse than the Nails, the Reed, the Thirst, 
Seeming Desertion's icy frown ! 






MAY CAROLS. 51 

O Saviour ! we, the weak, the blind, 

We lose Thee, snared in Pleasure's bound : 

Teach us once more Thy Face to find 
Where only Thou art truly found, 

In Thy true Church, its Faith, its Love, 
Its anthemed Rites or Penance mute, 

And that Interior Life whereof 
Eternal Life is flower and fruit. 



flDater tfilil 

XXXVII. 

Others, the hours of youth gone by, 
A mother's hearth and home forsake ; 

And, with the need, the filial tie 
Relaxes, though it does not break. 

But Thou wert born to be a Son : — 
God's Son in heaven, Thy will was this, 

To pass the chain of Sonship on, 
And bind in one whatever is. 



52 MAY CAROLS. 

Thou cam'st the Son of Man to be, 
That so Thy brethren too might bear 

Adoptive Sonship, and with Thee 
Thy Sire's eternal kingdom share. 



Transcendently the Son Thou art : 
In this mysterious bond entwine, 

As in a single, two-celled heart, 
Thy natures, human and divine. 



XXXVIIL 

When April's sudden sunset cold 

Through half-clothed boughs with watery sheen 
Bursts on the high, new-cowslipped wold, 

And bathes a world half gold half green, 



Then shakes the illuminated air 

With din of birds ; the vales far down 

Grow phosphorescent here and there ; 
Forth flash the turrets of the town ; 



MAY CAROLS. 53 

Along the sky thin vapours scud ; 

Bright zephyrs curl the choral main ; 
The wild ebullience of the blood 

Rings joy-bells in the heart and brain : 

Yet in that music discords mix ; 

The unbalanced lights like meteors play ; 
And, tired of splendours that perplex, 

The dazzled spirit sighs for May. 



/IDater H)i\nn& (Static, 
xxxix. 

The gifts a mother showers each day 
Upon her softly-clamorous brood, 

The gifts they value but for play, 
The graver gifts of clothes and food, 

Whence come they but from him who sows 
With harder hand, and reaps, the soil ; 

The merit of his labouring brows, 
The guerdon of his manly toil ? 



54 MAY CAROLS. 

From Him the Grace : through her it stands 
Adjusted, meted, and applied ; 

And ever, passing through her hands, 
Enriched it seems, and beautified. 



Love's mirror doubles Love's caress : 
Love's echo to Love's voice is true : — 

Their Sire the children love not less 
Because they clasp a Mother too. 



XL. 

Not yet, not yet ! the Season sings 
Not of fruition yet, but hope ; 

Still holds aloft, like balanced wings, 
Her scales, and lets not either drop. 

The white ash, last year's skeleton, 

Still glares, uncheered by leaf or shoot, 

'Gainst azure heavens, and joy hath none 
In that pure primrose at her foot. 



MAY CAROLS, 55 

Yet Nature's virginal suspense 

Is not forgetfulness nor sloth : 
Where'er we wander, soul and sense 

Discern a blindly working growth. 

Her throne once more the daisy takes, 
That white star of our dusky earth ; 

And the sky-cloistered lark down-shakes 
Her passion of seraphic mirth. 

7 Twixt barren hills and clear cold skies 
She weaves, ascending high and higher, 

Songs florid as those traceries 

Which took, of old, their name from fire. 

Sing ! thou that need'st no ardent clime 
To sun the sweetness from thy breast ; 

And teach us those delights sublime 
Wherein ascetic spirits rest ! 



56 MAY CAROLS, 



XLI. 

The moon, ascending o'er a mass 
Of tangled yew and sable pine, 

What sees she in yon watery glass ? 
A tearful countenance divine. 

Far down, the winding hills between, 
A sea of vapour bends for miles, 

Unmoving. Here and there, dim-seen, 
The knolls above it rise like isles. 

The tall rock glimmers, spectre-white ; 

The cedar in its sleep is stirred ; 
At times the bat divides the night ; 

At times the far-ofT flood is heard. 

Above, that shining blue ! — below, 

That shining mist ! Oh, not more pure 

Midwinter's landscape, robed in snow, 
And fringed with frosty garniture ! 

The fragrance of the advancing year 

Alone assures us it is May. 
Ah, tell me ! in the heavenlier sphere 

Must all of earth have passed away ? 



MAY CAROLS. 57 



1Ra3aretb, 

XLII. 

Before the Saviour's eyes unsealed 

The Beatific Vision stood : — 
If God from her that splendour veiled 

Awhile, in Him she gazed on God. 

The Eternal Spirit o'er them hung : 
The Eternal Father moved beside : 

With hands forth-held the Angelic throng 
Worshipped their Maker far descried. 

Yet neither He who said of yore 

" Let there be light " — and all was day— 

Nor she that, still a creature, wore, 
Creation's crown, and wears for aye, 

To casual gazers wondrous seemed : 
The w T anderer sat beside their door, 

artook their broken bread, and deemed 
The donors kindly — nothing more. 



$$ MAY CAROLS. 

In Eden thus that primal Pair, 

Ere sin had marred their first estate, 

Sate side by side in silent prayer, 
Their earliest sunset fronting, sate ; 

And now the lion, now the pard, 

Piercing the Cassia bower drew nigh ; 

Fixed on the twain a mute regard, 

Half pleased, half vacant — then passed by. 



XTbe Secret of 0ot> is wttb tbem tbat 
feat turn," 

XLIIL 

Flower of the darkness, that unseen 
With fragrance fill'st the vernal grove, 

Where hid'st thou ? 'Mid the grasses green, 
Or boughs that bar the blue above ? 

Thou bird that, darkling, sing'st a song 
That shook the bowers of Paradise, 

Thou too art hid thy leaves among ; 
Thou sing'st unseen of mortal eyes. 



MAY CAROLS. 59 

Of her thou sing'st whose every breath 
Sweetens a world too base to heed ; 

Of Him, death's conqueror, Who from death 
Alone would take the crown decreed. 



Thou sing'st that secret gifts are best ; 

That only like to God are they 
Who keep God's secret in their breast, 

And hide, as stars are hid by day. 



XLIV. 

The golden day is dead at last, 

And, hiding all their blossoms white, 

In one deep shade the bowers are massed, 
So feebly o'er them plays the light 

Of those uncertain, moonless skies, 

Bewildered with a silver haze, 
Through which the unnumbered starry eyes 

Bend tearful down a trembling gaze. 



60 MAY CAROLS. 

Against the horizon's pallid line, 

Where western heaven with ocean blends, 

Alone yon solitary Pine 

Its cloud-like canopy suspends. 

Ah ! hark, that Convent's chime ! It swells 
From dusky turrets far away : 

To shepherds half asleep it tells 

That Mary's daughters watch and pray. 



"Tleste Bavnfc cum Sibylla/' 

XLV. 

O thou of amplest brow, and eye 

Resplendent most with piercing beam, 

Prime Teacher of antiquity 

That through thy shadowy Academe 

Didst walk, the boast of Grecian years, 
Of man conversing, and the Soul, 

Until the music of the spheres 

Around thy listeners seemed to roll ; — 



MAY CAROLS, 61 

Thy theme was still the unsenuous Mind 
That moulds and makes our worlds of sense, 

The Truth in fleeting forms enshrined, 
Its own all-conquering evidence : 

Olympian fancies, winged with speech, 

Descending, lit that arduous theme 
Like Pindan swans, each following each, 

Adown some forest-darkened stream : 

Ilyssus 'mid the reeds withheld 

His wave to list a statelier ode 
Than ever in that holy eld 

From Sophoclean chorus flowed : 

Man, man thou sang'st in strain heaven-taught, 
Thy State's Exemplar, Type, and Plan, 

Man, born of God's eternal Thought — 
Ah, hadst thou heard of God made man ! 



62 MAY CAROLS. 



"Ueste Ba\n& cum Sfbglla." 

(Plato.) 

XLVI. 

He looked on the transcendent light, 
And, by the greatness of the fall, 

Measuring the unfallen Spirit's height, 
That Spirit deemed the body's thrall. 

He knew the light, but not the love, 
The sin, but not that Cross of shame 

Which raised us sinless spheres above ! 
Perhaps in death that knowledge came- 

In death that vision o'er him stood, 
Which all atoned, and all sufficed, 

That vision of Incarnate God, 

The Mother-maid, the Infant Christ ! 

Perhaps, where'er the heart is pure, 
In Gentile or in Christian lands, 

Despite dim clouds of faith obscure 
By dying beds that vision stands, 



MAY CAROLS. 63 

To ripen in a moment's space 

Truth's harvest, slumbering long in seed, 
And fit — to meet the Judge's face — 

With love in fear the Spirit freed ! 



"Tteste S>a\u& cum Sfbglla." 

(Idea Platonica.) 

XLVII. 

" The everlasting hills present 

God's Steadfastness to mortal ken : 

His Ways the trackless firmament : 

The deep His Counsels hid from men." 

What follows ? All that meets our eyes, 
Now dimmed by life's distempered dream, 

Is Revelation in disguise ; — 

It shrouds, yet shows, the One supreme ! 

Throughout all worlds there liveth nought 
But lived, unmade, unchangeable, 

For aye in God's creative Thought 
Which cast Creation's glistening shell. 



64 MAY CAROLS. 

Him first, Him most, His works express : 
But Nature's myriad-minded plan 

Hath lesser meanings ; and the less 
Charm most the petty mind of man. 

Poor captive of a sensuous heart, 
That mind no longer by the whole 

Interprets Nature's meaner part — 
We live in suburbs of the soul. 

O Death ! fling back the gates of sense, 
That man, redeemed from thraldom base, 

With glorified intelligence 

At last may see his Maker's Face ! 

Then type to antetype shall yield : 

Then Truth no more shall show reversed :- 

The golden side of nature's shield 
Shall smite our vision as at first, 

When God His creatures bade to pass 
Beneath their master's eye, and he, 

Fresh from the Godhead, as through glass 
Discerned in each its mystery ; 



MAY CAROLS, 65 

Descried its supernatural law ; 

Inferred its place in nature's frame ; 
And, in the tongue of Gods, with awe 

Assigned to each its destined name. 



MAY CAROLS. 



PART II 



! Behold thy mother."— John xix. 27. 



MAY CAROLS. 69 



Uqios Btbanatos. 

1. 

Cloud-piercing Mountains ! Chance and Change 
More high than you their thrones advance ! 

Self-vanquished Nature's rockiest range 
Gives way before them like the trance 

Of one that wakes. From morn to eve 

Through fissured clefts her mists make way ; 

At Night's cold touch they freeze, and cleave 
Her crags, and with a Titan's sway 

Flake off and peel the rotting rocks, 

And heap the glacier tide below 
With isles of sand and floating blocks, 

As leaves on streams when tempests blow. 

Lo, thus the great decree all-just, 

O Earth, thy mountains hear ; and learn 

Like man its awful import — " dust 
Thou art ; and shalt to dust return." 



70 MAY CAROLS. 

He only is Who ever was ; 

The All-measuring Mind ; the Will Supreme : 
Rocks, mountains, worlds, like bubbles pass : 

God is ; the things not God but seem. 



pastor JEternus, 

ii. 

I scaled the hills. No murky blot, 
No mist obscured the diamond air : 

One time, O God, those hills were not ! 

Thou spak'st : at Thy command they were ! 

O'er ebon meres the ledges hung ; 

High up were summits white with snow : — 
Some peak athwart the mountains flung 

A crowne'd Shadow creeping slow. 



Still crept it onwards. Vague and vast, 
From ridge to ridge the mountains o'er 

That king-like Semblance slowly passed : 
A shepherd's crook for staff it bore. 



MAY CAROLS. 71 

O Thou that leadest like a sheep 

Thine Israel ! all the earth is Thine ! 

Thy mystic Manhood still must sweep 
Thy worlds with healing shade divine ! 

The airy pageant died with day : — 

The hills, the worlds themselves must die : 

But Thou remainest such alway : 
Thy Love is from Eternity. 



TLhc "TOnftnown GoO," 

in. 

Behind this vast and wondrous frame 
Of worlds, whereof we nothing know 

Except their aspects and their name, 
Beneath this blind; bewildering show 

Of shapes that on the darkness trace 
Transitions fair and fugitive, 

Lies hid that Power upon whose Face 
No child of man shall gaze and live. 



72 



MAY CAROLS. 

Like one on purple heights that stands 
While mountain echoes round him roll, 

Screening his forehead with his hands, 
And following far through gulfs of soul 

Some thought that still before him flies — 
Thus, Power eternal and unknown, 

We muse on Thine immensities, 
Yet find Thee in Thy Son alone. 

Emanuel — God with us — in Him 

We see the Unmeasured, and the Vast, 

Like mountain outlines, large and dim, 
On lifted mists at sunrise cast. 



" The Word made Flesh ! " O Power Divine, 
Through Him alone we guess at Thee, 

And deepliest feel that He is Thine 
When throned upon His mother's knee. 



MAY CAROLS. 



Jesum ©sten&e* 

IV. 

Who doubts that thou art finite ? Who 
Is ignorant that from Godhead's height 

To what is loftiest here below 
The interval is infinite ? 

O Mary ! w T ith that smile thrice-blest 
Upon their petulance look down ; 

Their dull negation, blind protest — 
Thy smile will melt away their frown ! 

Show them thy Son ! That hour their heart 
Will beat and burn with love like thine ; 

Grow large ; and learn from thee that art 
Which communes best with things divine. 

The man who grasps not what is best 

In creaturely existence, he 
Is narrowest in the brain \ and least 

Can grasp the thought of Deity. 



74 



MAY CAROLS. 



{Turns Bburnea, 



This scheme of worlds, which vast we call, 
Is only vast compared with man : 

Compared with God, the One yet All, 
Its greatness dwindles to a span. 

A Lily with its isles of buds 

Asleep on some unmeasured sea : — 
O God, the starry multitudes, 

What are they more than this to Thee ? 

Yet, girt by Nature's petty pale, 

Each tenant holds the place assigned 

To each in Being's awful scale : — 
The last of creatures leaves behind 



The abyss of Nothingness : the first 
Into the abyss of Go'dhead peers, 

Waiting that Vision which shall burst 
In glory on the eternal years. 



MAY CAROLS. 75 

Tower of our Hope ! through thee we climb 

Finite creation's topmost stair ; 
Through thee from Sion's height sublime 

Towards God we gaze through clearer air. 

Infinite distance still divides 

Created from Creative Power ; 
But all which intercepts and hides 

Lies dwarfed by that surpassing Tower ! 



Hutbentic TZheism. 

VI. 

A trivial age with petty sneer 
Rebukes a creed for it too large, 

And little deems how subtly near 
To falsehood's blindest is its charge. 

The authentic Thought of God at last 
To it grows pale through Error's mist 

Upon that mist, Man's image cast 
Becomes the new God-Mechanist. 






76 MAY CAROLS. 

The vast Idea shrivels up : 

Truth narrows with the narrowing soul : 
Men sip it from the acorn's cup : 

Their fathers drained the golden bowl. 

Shrink, spelled and dwarfed, their earth, their skies 
Shrinks in their hand the measuring-rod ; 

With dim, yet microscopic eyes 
They chase a daily-dwindling God. 

His temple, thus to crypt reduced, 
For ancient Faith has space no more, 

Or her, its Queen. To hearts abused 
By sense, prime truths are true no more. 



Consenmbat in Cor&e* 

VII. 

As every change of April sky 

Is imaged in the unchangeful brook, 
Her meditative memory 

Mirrored His every deed and look. 



MAY CAROLS. 77 

As suns through summer ether rolled 

Mature each growth the spring has wrought, 

Her love's calm solstice turned to gold 
The harvests of quiescent thought. 

Her soul was as a vase, and shone 

Illumed but with the interior ray ; 
Her Maker's finger wrote thereon 

A mystic Bible new each day. 

Deep Heart ! In all His sevenfold might 

The Paraclete with thee abode, 
And, sacramented there in light, 

Bare witness of the things of God. 



XTbe IRinMs transience, 

VIII. 

" Like flowers," they tell us, " Life must fade ! " 
Ah flower-faced Friend ! if flowers must die 

Immortal sweets of these are made : 
Thus Time bequeaths Eternity. 



78 MAY CAROLS. 

" Life is a fleeting shade ! " What then ? 

The Substance doth the Shadow cast : 
Essential Life, it recks not when, 

Shall crown this seeming Life at last ! 

Thus, while May breezes whirling caught 
Dead leaves, poor spoils of winter gone, 

Half-Truths, deciduous spoils of Thought, 
Their clothing from on high put on : 

And better far it seemed to plight 
To earth a transient troth and trust 

Than with corruption wed, and blight 
The Spirit's hope with deathless dust. 



IX. 

Stronger and steadier every hour 
The pulses of the season's glee, 

As higher climbs that vernal Power 
Which rules the purple revelry. 



MAY CAROLS. 79 

Trees, that from winter's grey eclipse 
Of late but pushed their topmost plume, 

Or felt with green-touched finger-tips 
For spring, their perfect robes assume. 

Like one that reads, not one that spells, 
The unvarying rivulet onward runs : 

And bird to bird, from leafier cells, 
Sends forth more leisurely response. 

Through the gorse covert bounds the deer : — 
The gorse, whose latest splendours won 

Make all the fulgent wolds appear 
Bright as the pastures of the sun. 

A balmier zephyr curls the wave ; 

More purple flames o'er ocean dance ; 
And the white breaker by the cave 

Falls with more cadenced resonance ; 

While, vague no more, the mountains stand 

With quivering line or hazy hue ; 
But drawn with finer, firmer hand, 

And settling into deeper blue. 



So MAY CAROLS. 



/[foarte CUens* 



x. 

A little longer on the earth 
That aged creature's eyes repose, 

Though half their light and all their mirth 
Are gone ; and then for ever close. 

She thinks that something done long since 
111 pleases God : — or why should He 

So long delay to take her hence 
Who waits His will so lovingly ? 

Whene'er she hears the church-bells toll, 
She lifts her head, though not her eyes, 

With wrinkled hands, but youthful soul, 
Counting her lip-worn rosaries. 

And many times the weight of years 
Falls from her in her waking dreams : 

A child her mother's voice she hears : 
To tend her father's steps she seems. 



MAY CAROLS. 

Once more she hears the whispering rains 
On flowers and paths her girlhood trod ; 

And of things present nought remains 
Save one abiding sense of God. 

Mary ! make smooth her downward way ! 

Not dearer to the young thou art 
Than her. Make glad her latest May ; 

And hold her, dying, on thy heart ! 



Speculum 5ustitia>* 

XL 

Not in Himself the Eternal Word 
Lay hid upon Creation's day : 

His Loveliness abroad He poured 
On all the worlds, and pours for aye. 

Not in Himself the Incarnate Son, 
In whom Man's race is born again, 

His glory hides. The victory won, 
He rose to send His " Gifts on Men." 

F 



82 MAY CAROLS. 

In sacraments — His dread behests ; 

In Providence ; in granted prayer ; 
Before the time He manifests 

His Presence, far as man may bear. 

He shines not from a vault of gloom ; 

The horizon round His splendour paints : 
The sphere of Souls His beams illume ; 

His light is glorious in His Saints. 

He shines upon His Church — that Moon 
Who, in the watches of the night, 

Transmits to Earth the entrusted boon ; 
A sister orb of sacred light. 

And thou, pure mirror of His grace ! — 

As sun reflected in a sea — 
So, Mary, feeblest eyes the face 

Of Him thou lov'st discern in thee. 



MAY CAROLS. 83 



Buriltum Cbristianorum, 

XII. 

Not for herself doth Mary hold 

That Mother-Crown, that Queenly Throne 
The loftiest in the Saviour's Fold 

The least possesses of her own ! 

Pure thoughts that make to God their quest 
With her find footing o'er the clouds, 

Like those sea-crossing birds that rest 
A moment on the sighing shrouds. 

In her our hearts, no longer nursed 
On dust, for spiritual beauty yearn ; 

From her our instincts, as at first, 
An upward gravitation learn. 

Through her draw nigh the things remote : 
For in true love's supernal sphere 

No more round self the affections float — 
More near to God, to man more near. 



84 MAY CAROLS. 

In her, the weary warfare past, 
The port attained, the exile o'er, 

We see the Church's bark at last 

Close-anchored on the eternal shore ! 



XIII. 

O Cowslips sweetening lawn and vale, 
O Harebells drenched in noontide dew, 

O moon-white Primrose, Wind-flower frail ! 
The song should be of her, not you ! 

The May breeze answered, whispering low, 
" Not thine : they sing her praises best ! 

Yet song her grace in theirs can show : 
Her claims they prove not, yet attest. 



" Beneath all fair things round thee strewn 
Her beauty lurks, by sense unseen : 

Who lifts their veil uprears a throne 
In holy hearts to Beauty's Queen." 



MAY CAROLS. 85 



Bb JEterno ©rMnata* 

XIV. 

Eternal Beauty, ere the spheres 

Had rolled from out the gulfs of night, 

Sparkled, through all the unnumbered years, 
Before the Eternal Father's sight : 

Truth's solemn reflex — not a Dream — 
Self-radiant Wisdom's smile unpriced — 

Before His eyes it hung — a gleam 

Flashed from the eternal Thought of Christ. 

It hung, the unbodied antitype 
Of all Creation shapes and sings — 

That finite world which Time makes ripe, 
Which Uncreated Light enrings. 

Star-like within the depths serene 

Of that still vision, Mary, thou 
With Him, thy Son, of God wert seen 

Millenniums ere the lucid brow 



86 MAY CAROLS. 

Of Eve o'er Eden founts had bent, — 
Millenniums ere that second Pair 

With dust the hopes of man had blent, 
And stained the brightness once so fair. 

Elect of Creatures ! Man in thee 
Beholds that primal Beauty yet ; 

Sees all that Man was formed to be, — 
Sees all that Man can ne'er forget ! 






XV. 

Three worlds there are : — the first of Sense- 
That sensuous earth which round us lies ; 

The next, of Faith's Intelligence ; 
The third, of Glory, in the skies. 



The first is palpable, but base ; 

The second heavenly, but obscure ; 
The third is star-like in the face — 

But ah ! remote that world as pure ! 



MAY CAROLS. 87 

Yet, glancing through our misty clime, 
Some sparkles from that loftier sphere 

Make way to earth ; — then most what time 
The annual spring-flowers re-appear. 

Amid the coarser needs of earth 

All shapes of brightness, what are they 

But wanderers exiled from their birth, 
Or pledges of a happier day ? 

Yea, what is Beauty, judged aright, 
But some surpassing, transient gleam ; 

Some smile from heaven, in waves of light, 
Rippling o'er life's distempered dream ? 

Or broken memories of that bliss 

Which rushed through first-born Nature's blood 
When He who ever was, and is, 

Looked down, and saw that all was good ? 



MAY CAROLS. 



XVI. 



Alas ! not only loveliest eyes, 

And brows with lordliest lustre bright, 

But Nature's self — her woods and skies — 
The credulous heart can cheat or blight. 

And why ? Because the sin of man 

'Twixt Fair and Good has made divorce ; 

And stained, since Evil first began, 
That stream so heavenly at its source. 

O perishable vales and groves ! 

Your master was not made for you : 
Ye are but creatures ! human loves 

Are to the great Creator due. 

And yet, through Nature's symbols dim, 
There are with keener sight that pierce 

The outward husk, and reach to Him 
Whose garment is the universe. 

For this to earth the Saviour came 
In flesh ; in part for this He died ; 

That man might have, in soul or frame, 
No faculty unsanctified. 



MAY CAROLS. 89 

That Fancy's self, so prompt to lead 
Through paths disastrous or denied, 

Upon the Tree of Life might feed ; 
And Sense with Soul be reconciled. 



Jfcolatria, 

XVII. 

The fancy of an age gone by, 

When Fancy's self to earth declined, 

Still thirsting for Divinity, 

Yet still, through sense, to Godhead blind, 

Poor mimic of that Truth of old 

The Patriarchs' Faith — a Faith revealed — 
Compressed its God in mortal mould, 

Poor prisoner of Creation's field. 

Nature and Nature's Lord were one ! 

Then countless gods from cloud and stream 
Glanced forth ; from sea, and moon, and sun : 

So ran the pantheistic dream. 



90 MAY CAROLS. 

And thus the All- Holy, thus the All-True, 
The One Supreme, the Good, the Just, 

Like mist was scattered, lost like dew, 
And vanished in the wayside dust. 

Mary ! through thee the idols fell : 

When He the Nations longed for* came- 

True God yet Man — with man to dwell, 
The phantoms hid their heads for shame. 

His place, or thine, removed, ere long 
The Bards would push the Sects aside ; 

And, lifted by the might of song, 
Olympus stand re-edified ! 



"5h UMm we bave our being/' 

XVIII. 

The God who lives in those bright flowers 
That wave and flash from yonder rock, 

O children singing 'mid your bowers 
In you lives also, pleased to mock 

* " The Desire of the Nations." 



MAY CAROLS. 91 

His own unmoved Immensity 

With you — in you — to sport and play : — 
As ripples on a summer sea 

Are ye : unchanged that sea for aye ! 

Thus much of Truth they knew that feigned 
Of old, their God with Nature one : 

Another, loftier Truth remained, 

For us, which now they read who run. 

Half-Truths are Falsehood's baits — too near 
They roam to error's maze of doubt, 

And, like some scared, outlying deer, 
O'er-leap the limit, in and out. 

Such quarry, hunter youths, beware ! 

That bourne is demon-haunted ground ; 
And, bone from bone, the demons tear 

The man who steps beyond its bound. 



92 MAY CAROLS. 



XTota fl>ulcbra, 

XIX. 

A broken gleam on wave and flower — 
A music that in utterance dies — 

A redd'ning leaf — a falling shower — 
Behold that Beauty which we prize ! 

And ah ! how oft Corruption works 

Through that brief Beauty's force or wile ! 

How oft a gloom eternal lurks 
Beneath an evanescent smile ! 

But thou, serene and smiling light 

Of every grace to man benign, 
In thee all harmonies unite ; — 

All minstrelsies of Truth are thine ! 

Of old whate'er to mind or heart 

Was dear " had leave " with thee to rest : 

The "little birds " of every Art 

Hung on thy Fane their procreant nest : 



MAY CAROLS. 93 

Cold marbles preached, 'mid change and strife, 
The eternal Peace, the unchangeful Love, 

And o'er the weeping vale of life 

Her heavenly rainbow Painting wove. 

Those pictures, fair as moon or star, 
The ages dear to Faith brought forth 

Formed but the illumined calendar 

Of her, that Church which knows thy worth. 

Not less doth Nature teach through thee 
That mystery hid in hues and lines : 

Who loves thee not hath lost the key 
To all her sanctuaries and shrines. 



XX. 

The night through yonder cloudy cleft, 
With many a lingering last regard, 

Withdraws — but slowly — and hath left 
Her mantle on the darksome sward. 



94 MAY CAROLS. 

The lawns with silver dews are strewn ; 

The winds lie hushed in cave and tree ; 
Nor stirs a flower, save one alone 

That bends beneath the earliest bee. 

Peace over all the garden broods ; 

Pathetic sweets the thickets throng ; 
Like breath the vapour o'er the woods 

Ascends — dim woods without a song ; 

Or hangs, a shining, fleece-like mass 
O'er half yon lake that winds afar 

Among the forests, still as glass, 
The mirror of that Morning Star 

Which, halfway wandering from the sky, 
Amid the crimson dawn delays, 

And (large and less alternately) 

Bends down a lustrous, tearful gaze. 

Mother and home of Spirits blest ! 

Bright gate of Heaven and golden bower ! 
Thy best of blessings, love and rest, 

Depart not till on earth thou shower! 



MAY CAROLS. 95 



Stella jflfcatutina- 

XXL 

Shine out, O Star, and sing the praise 
Of that unrisen Sun whose glow 

Thus feeds thee with thine earlier rays — 
The secret of thy song we know. 

Thou sing'st that Sun of Righteousness, 
Sole light of this benighted globe, 

Whose beams, from Him reflected, dress 
His Mother in her shining robe ! 

Pale Lily, pearled around with dew, 
Lift high that heaven-illumined vase, 

And sing the glories ever new 

Of her, God's chalice, "full of grace. " 

Cerulean Ocean, fringed with white, 
That wear'st her colours evermore, 

In all thy pureness, all thy might, 

Resound her name from shore to shore- 



96 MAY CAROLS. 

Her name, and His, that, like thy rim 
Of light the dusky lands around, 

Still girds Creation's shadow dim 
With Incarnation's shining bound. 

Transfigured Earth, disguised too long ! 

It falls — that Pagan mask of Sense ! 
Burst forth, dumb worlds, at last in song 

Of spiritual Intelligence ! 



Ube fflesb an& tbe Spirit. 

XXII. 

Man's soul a palace is : therein 

A kingly senate sits in state : 
But under-winding caves of Sin 

A pestilence all round create. 

Man's head uptowers in arctic air : 

O'er temperate zones his heart hath sway 

But tropic sands there are ; and there 
The lions of our nature prey. 



MAY CAROLS. 97 

Dread Maker of our twofold being 

In night and day alternate robed, 
Shine on us, that the monsters, fleeing, 

May leave thine Image throned and globed ! 

Shine on us ; — and thou shinest ! sun-bright 
Flash back the ransomed fields and meads, 

Trod by that Form, compact of light, 
That only on the lilies feeds. 

O earth, partaker of the curse, 

Thy glory fled when Adam fell : 
Yet — not her mother, but her nurse — 

Of Mary earth was capable ! 



"flfoaDe subject to tDantts/' 

XXIII. 

Poor earthly House of flesh and blood ! 

Imprisoned Spirit's mortal mould i 
What rapture-thrills in fount and flood 

Are thine, and on the windy wold ! 



98 MAY CAROLS. 

And yet what art thou ? Bond and chain — 
To cheat the whole, thou giv'st the part : 

The mother clasps her babe — 'tis vain ; 
She cannot hide him in her heart ! 

The whole great Soul would hear, would see : 
The sense is bound to eye, to ear : — 

Still " Touch me not," remains for thee : 
" Not yet ascended," still we hear ! 

pure in life, O sweet in death, 

O sweet and sinless flesh of flowers, 

1 would that life with such light breath, 
Such sweetness born of death, were ours ! 



/IDater Xtivinx Gratis 

XXIV. 

" They have no wine." The tender guest 
Was grieved their feast should lack for aught : 

He seemed to slight her mute request : 
Not less the grace she wished He wrought. 



MAY CAROLS. 99 

O great in Love ! O full of Grace ! 

That winds in thee, a river broad, 
From Christ, with heaven-reflecting face, 

Gladdening the City of thy God : — 

Be this thy gift : that man henceforth 

No more should creep through life content 

(Draining the springs impure of earth) 
With life's material element. 

Let sacraments to sense succeed : 

Let nought be winning, nought be good 

Which fails of Him to speak, and bleed 
Once more with His all-cleansing blood ! 

" They have no wine." At heaven's high Feast 

That soft petition still hath place, 
And bathes — so wills that Kingly Priest 

Whose " Hour is come " — the worlds with Grace. 



MAY CAROLS. 



XCbe beginning of /Ifciracles, 

XXV. 

The water changed to wine she saw : 
She saw nought else of shapes around : 

With such a trance of loving awe 
That first of signs her spirit bound. 

She saw in perspective benign 

Whate'er that first of signs rehearsed, 

That later chalice, and the wine 

More changed, that slaked a holier thirst. 

She saw calm homes of love and rest, 
The earthly life to heaven allied, 

The deaths sabbatical and blest 
Of Saints that died as Joseph died. 



She saw a world serene, august, 

A world new-made, whose every part 

Was fashioned, not of sinful dust, 
But in, and from the'JSaviour's Heart. 



MAY CAROLS. 

She saw the stream of human kind, 
So long defiled with weeds and mud, 

In fontal pureness onward wind 
To meet the eternal ocean flood 

Within whose breast a love-star shook 
More fair than he that from the skies, 

As home their silent way they took, 
Illlumed her never tearless eyes. 



Detacbment 

XXVI. 

From sin — but not alone from sin — 
That Bright One of the worlds was free ; 

Never there stirred, her breast within, 
That downward Creature-Sympathy, 

Which clouds the strong eyes that discern 

Through all things, One — the All-True, All-just, 

And bids the infirmer instinct yearn 
To beauteous nothings writ in dust. 



>2 MAY CAROLS. 

Clear shines o'er glooming waves afar 
Yon cottage fire, as daylight dies ; 

How pure — till comes the evening star 
To shame it from untainted skies ! 

O Mary, in thy Daughters still 

Thine image pure, if pale, we find ; 

The crystal of the flawless will ; 
The soul irradiating the mind ; 

The heart where live, in memory sheathed, 
But ghosts of mortal joy or grief, 

Like wood-scents through a Bible breathed 
By some thin-pressed, long-cherished leaf; 

The tender strength, the bliss heaven-taught, 
Unguessed by Time's distempered thrall ; 

The lucid depth of loving thought ; 
The peace divine encircling all. 

In Him, the Unseen, their wealth they hoard : 

They sit, in self-oblivion sweet, 
The Virgin-Spouses of their Lord, 

Beside the Virgin-Mother's feet. 



MAY CAROLS. 103 



XXVII. 

Whitens the green field, daisy-strewn ; 

A richer fragrance loads the breeze ; 
Full-flowering meadows sweep, tall-grown, 

The bending boughs of greener trees. 

Whitens the thorn, like yonder snow 

That crowns, not clothes, the hills aloof: 

Empurpled skies more darkly glow 
Through chasms of denser forest roof. 

The silver treble of the bird 

O'erruns her music's graver base. 

That golden murmur, always heard, 
That dins the universal space, 

Commingled sound of insect swarm, 

And vagrant bee, and wandering stream, 

And workings of the woodlands warm 
By summer yearnings touched in dream. 

O Nature, make thy children thine ! 

Erase the stain ; burn out the blot ; 
Like her of Mothers most benign, 

The sole that, loving, flatters not. 



104 MAY CAROLS. 



"3esus an& Ibis /Ibotber were tbere, 

XXVIII. 

Love, youthful love, that mean'st so well, 
And spread'st thy wings to soar so high, 

Yet, backward blown by gusts from hell, 
On desert sands so oft dost die ! 

For thee what help ? From pride ? from scorn ? 

Ah ! love alone is love's defence — 
True love, of love celestial born, 

And nursed in caves of Reverence. 

Childhood thrice-blest ! thine every thought 

Reveres superior mind or power, 
That, sown in darkness, may be wrought 

From Reverence love's consummate flower ! 

A sinless man, a sinless mate 

Walked, linked in God, o'er Eden's sward : 
But He who links holds separate : — 

Between them paced Whom both adored ! 



MAY CAROLS. 105 

O Face so like thy Son's, look forth 

Through clouds that blot this mortal scene, 

And, teaching woman's spiritual worth, 
The heart of man with fire make clean : 

That so once more with spotless feet, 

Upon a world-wide Eden's sod, 
Humanity may stand complete, 

One image, dual-cast from God ; 

And, dual-crowned (like that fair hill 
Parnassian, which from summits twain 

Flashed back the morning bright and still, 
Echoing the Muses 7 vestal strain) 

May sing the Heavenly Lover's praise, 

With voices twain, yet lost in one, 
And learn that only when we raise 

Our hearts, they beat in unison. 



io6 



MAY CAROLS. 



Xumen IRupttarum* 

XXIX. 

Say, who is she that walks on air, 
Nor stains her foot with sinful earth ? 

The all-tender Vestal, chaste and fair, 
In death more blameless than at birth. 

Say, who is she, serenely blest, 
That walks the dustier ways of life 

With foot immaculate as her breast ? 
That Woman-maid, the Christian Wife ! 

Her love, a full-blown rose, each hour 

Its snowy bud regerminates ; 
The star of Eden lights her bower ; 

Her children's laughter cheers its gates. 



Yet half she is, that wife — still bride — 
Owes to that vestal never wed, 

As Homes through Him are sanctified 
Who had not where to lay His head. 



MAY CAROLS. 107 

Both Mysteries sleep in one, secure : — 
Like twins in one white cradle laid, 

The Life Detached and Marriage pure, 
One mother boast — the Mother-maid. 



XXX. 

If God, for each fair action wrought 
On earth, with wholly pure intent, 

Should call an Angel out of nought 
Thenceforth its heavenly monument, 

To prove the all-fruitful strength and worth 
Of pureness perfect ; and to show 

That life in heaven may owe its birth 
To humblest Virtue tried below ; 

How often angel choirs would fleet 
From heaven the shadowy gulf across, 

Some death-delivered Soul to greet, 
Assoiled, ere death, from mortal dross ; 






io8 MAY CAROLS. 

Some Vestal from the cloister shade 
Still pale, some village maid as pure, 

That smiled to see her beauty fade, 
Worked on for God in age obscure ! 

" Hail, Mother of our Joy ! " how oft 
In hearts that knew not earthly ties 

That angel Salutation soft 

Would wake the beautiful surprise, 

As forward, through the realms of light, 
That Soul, on angel-litter borne, 

Made way, an eddy silver-bright 

Through gold seas of the eternal morn ! 



"WLben Zhou bast set my beart at 
liberty" 



XXXI. 

How narrow earthly loves — even those 
Clouded the least by earthly stain ! 

What bars of Self around them close ! 
Not Death itself can burst the chain. 



MAY CAROLS. 109 

We love amiss ; we sorrow worse ; 

Wan vintage of a barren sun 
We drain around an ill-waked corse 

In death-vaults of delight foregone. 

O thou whose love to Him was knit 

So near thee, yet so high above, 
In whom to love was to submit, 

In whom Submission meant but Love ; 

Whose heart great Love dilated so 
That by His Cross, a Mother twice, 

All men thy sons became ; whose Woe 
But crowned true Love's Self-Sacrifice ; 

Make thou the bosom, pure before, 

Through grief more solid-pure to grow ; 

The lily vase that shook of yore 

Make thou the lily filled with snow ! 

The thought of thee among the Blest 

O'er earth a bliss snow-pure doth breathe : 

Thy rest in heaven diffuses rest 

O'er those who love and mourn beneath. 



MAY CAROLS. 



Gratis plena. 

XXXII. 

If he of Angels, first and best, 
Chief Ardour of the Seraph fires, 

More graces clasps than all the rest — 
Perchance than all their ninefold choirs, 

(That so proportioned worth and place 
May wed, nor even war with odd,) 

What plenitude of conquering grace 
Must fill the Mother of her God ! 

Their greatness stands in limits curbed 
Of sequent rank and grade \ but she 

Is one and whole, a world full-orbed, 
An Order sole, and Hierarchy : 



Of fashioned things both last and first- 
Added, that so from Adam's crime 

Her Son might save the race accursed- 
Decreed before the birth of time. 



MAY CAROLS. 

Hail, Full of Grace 1 To eyes of men 
Light shows not mid excess of light : 

Thy glory mocks the angelic ken — 
The peerless whiteness of thy white ! 

And yet 'twixt her and us but small 
The distance : — finite it must be : 

'Twixt her and God the interval 
Is evermore infinity. 



Das Snslflite 2>e\>otionis, 

XXXIII. 

O strong in prayer ! our spirits bind 
To God : our bodies keep from sin : 

Live in our hearts that Christ may find 
An incorrupt abode therein : 

That He, the Eternal Spirit, He 
Who overshadowed with His Grace 

The depths of thy Humility, 
In us may have a resting-place. 



MAY CAROLS. 

Who love thee prosper ! As a breeze 
Thou waft'st them o'er the ways divine : 

Strange heights they reach with magic ease 
Through music-moulded discipline. 

" If I but touch His vesture's hem 

I shall be healed, and strong, and free " — 

Thou wert His Vesture, Mary ! — them 
His virtue heals that reach to thee. 



Ejpectatio, 
xxxiv. 

A sweet exhaustion seems to hold 
In spells of calm the shrouded eve : 

The gorse itself a beamless gold 

Puts forth : — yet nothing seems to grieve. 

The dewy chaplets hang on air ; 

The willowy fields are silver-grey ; 
Sad odours wander here and there ; — 

And yet we feel that it is May. 



MAY CAROLS. 113 

Relaxed, and with a broken flow, 
From dripping bowers low carols swell 

In mellower, glassier tones, as though 
They mounted through a bubbling well. 

The crimson orchis scarce sustains 
Upon its drenched and drooping spire 

The burden of the warm soft rains ; 
The purple hills grow nigh and nigher. 

Nature, suspending lovely toils, 

On expectations lovelier broods, 
Listening, with lifted hand, while coils 

The flooded rivulet through the woods. 

She sees, drawn out in vision clear, 
A world with summer radiance drest, 

And all the glories of that year 
Still sleeping in her sacred breast. 



ii 4 



MAY CAROLS. 



TLbc Xetter anb tbe Spirit 

XXXV. 

How oft that Sadducean fool 

That imped with feathers from the jay 
As hard a heart, a brain as dull 

As e'er were bubble-blown from clay, 

How oft his half-shut eye had roved 
From sacred page to page, and read 

Those words that, unaffirming, proved 
The Resurrection from the Dead ! * 

Words plainer were there : " I shall go 
To him ] he cannot come to me " — 

(t Though worms consume this Body, lo ! 
I in my flesh my God shall see." 

Yet such the Saviour challenged not : 
He willed to prove that at the core 

Of well-known words to reverent Thought 
There lurked a mine of unknown lore — 

* M The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob." 



MAY CAROLS. 115 

" What texts avouch her greatness ? " Two, 
For those the Letter's rind who pierce ; 

The Ancient Record and the New : 

In Christ they meet ; and Christ is hers. 



Zhc "Single E^e/' 

XXXVI. 

The spirit intricately wise 

That bends above his ciphered scroll 
Only to probe, and analyse, 

The self-involved and sunless soul, 

Has not the Truth he holds — though plain ; 

For Truth divine is gift, not debt : — 
Her living waters wouldst thou drain ? 

Let down the pitcher, not the net ! 

But they, the spirits frank and meek, 
Nor housed in self, nor science-blind, 

Who welcome truths they did not seek ; — 
Truth comes to them in every wind. 



n6 MAY CAROLS. 

Beside his tent's still open door, 
With open heart, and open eye, 

The Patriarch sat, when they who wore 
That triad type of God drew nigh. 

The world of Faith around us lies 

Like nature's world of life and growth 

Seeing to see it needeth eyes 

And heart, profound and simple both. 



XXXVII. 

As pebbles flung for sport, that leap 
Along the superficial tide, 

But enter not those chambers deep 
Wherein the jewel'd beds abide ; 



Such those light minds that, grazing, spurn 
The surface text of Sacred Lore, 

Yet ne'er its deeper sense discern, 
Its halls of mystery ne'er explore. 



MAY CAROLS. 117 

Ah ! not for such the unvalued gems ; 

The priceless pearls of Truth they miss : 
Not theirs the starry diadems 

That light God's temple in the abyss ! 

Ah ! not for such to gaze on her 

That moves through all that empire pale ; 

At every shrine doth minister, 
Yet never lifts her vestal veil ! 

" The letter kills." Make pure thy Will ; 

So shalt thou pierce the Text's disguise : 
Till then, revere the veil that still 

Hides truth from truth-arTrontins; eves. 



JBeatf qui au&iunt verbum Wei 

XXXVIII. 

When from the crowd that voice was raised 
That blessed the Mother of the Lord, 

Not her the Son who loved her praised, 
But all who heard, and kept His word. 



MAY CAROLS. 

O answer meet ! to her how dear, 
To her too great her crown to boast ! 

The meek were glad that praise to hear : 
The meekest, loftiest, joyed the most. 

Above her soul's pure mirror crept 

No mist : no doubt within her stirred : 

She asked not, " who His words hath kept 
Like her, the mother of the Word ? " 

Her tender heart rejoiced to think 
That all who say, " Thy will be mine," 

Without, or with the external link, 
In heart bring forth the Babe divine. 

Chief of the Prophets John might be, 
Yet, but for that his happier place 

In Jesus' kingdom, less than he 
The least one in the realm of grace. 

The mother of Incarnate God 

Some Prophet's mother seemed, alone : — 
His hour not yet was come : abroad 

To noise her fame had noised his own. 



MAY CAROLS. 119 



Deus HbsconMtus, 

XXXIX. 

He was no conqueror borne abroad 

On all the fiery winds of fame 
That over-strides a world o'er-awed 

In ruin-heaps to write — a Name. 

No Act triumphant crushed the foe : 
No word of power redeemed the thrall : 

By Suffering He prevailed^ that so 
His Father might be all in all. 

His Godhead veiled from mortal eye 

Showed forth that Father's Godhead still, 

As calm seas mirror starry skies 
Because themselves invisible. 

Thus Mary in the Son was hid : — 
That Son alone that Mother's boast, 

She nothing said, she nothing did : 
Her light in His was merged and lost. 



120 



MAY CAROLS. 



XL. 

For thirty years with her He lurked, 

As secret as the unrisen sun : 
In three short years His Work He worked : 

That work we know. The victory won, 

Once more the veil descends, and shrouds 
That trance of Love, the Forty Days : 

Like mountains lost in luminous clouds 
Their marvels cheat our yearning gaze. 

The Saints who rose when Jesus died, 
Lazarus, twice cast from nature's womb, 

Hidden their after days abide 
As Enoch's life or Moses' tomb. 



The Work, the Work — no more — is told : 
The lore man needs not shuns his sight ; 

Thy Work was this, to clothe in mould 
Of Adam's race the Infinite. 



MAY CAROLS. 

Thy Motherhood thine endless Act, 
In this all lesser praise is drowned : 

To this to add were to detract : 

Sole-throned it bideth, and self-crowned. 



5anua Coeli 

XLI. 

They seek not ; or amiss they seek j — 
The coward soul — the captious brain : — 

To Love alone those instincts speak 
Whose challenge never yet was vain. 

True Gate of Heaven ! As light through glass, 
That God who might — not born of thee — 

Have come, was pleased to earth to pass 
Through thine unstained Virginity : 

Lo ! thus aright to know thy Son 

Through knowledge comes of thee in part, 
Interior Vision, Spirit-won • 

High wisdom of the virgin heart. 



122 MAY CAROLS. 

Summed up in thee our hearts behold 
The glory of created things : — 

From His, thy Son's, corporeal mould 
Looks forth the eternal King of kings ! 



XLIL 

If sense of Man's unworthiness 

With Nature's blameless looks at strife, 

Should wake with wakening May, and press 
New-born contentment out of life : 

If thoughts of breed unblest and blind 
Should stamp upon the springing flower, 

Or blacker memories haunt the mind 
As ravens haunt the ruined tower : — 



O then how sweet in heart to breathe 
Those pure Judean gales once more ; 

From Bethlehem's crib to Nazareth 
In heart to tread that Syrian shore ! 



MAY CAROLS. 

To watch that star-like Infant bring 
To one of soul as clear and white 

May-lilies, fresh from Siloa's spring, 

Or Passion-flower with May-dews bright ! 

To follow, earlier yet, the feet 

Of her the " hilly land » who trod 

With true love's haste, intent to greet 
That aged saint beloved of God. 

Before her, like a stream let loose, 

The long vale's flowerage, winding, ran : 

Nature resumed her Eden use ; 

And Earth was reconciled with Man ! 



Causa IRostr^e 3L^etitxee. 

XLIII. 

Whate'er is floral on the earth 

To thee, O Flower, of right belongs 

Whate'er is musical in mirth, 
Whate'er is jubilant in songs. 



I2 4 



MAY CAROLS. 



Childhood and springtide never cease 
For him thy freshness keeps from stain : 

Dew-drenched for him, like Gideon's fleece, 
The dusty paths of life remain. 

For all high thoughts thou bring'st to mind, 
We love thee : — love thee better yet, 

For all that taint on human kind, 
Thy brightness helps us to forget ! 

Hope, Hope is Strength ! That smile of thine 

To us is Glory's earliest ray ! 
Through Faith's dim air, O star benign, 

Look down, and light our onward way ! 



Stella /IDaris, 



XLIV. 

I left at morn that blissful shore 

O'er which the fruit-bloom fluttered free ; 

And sailed the wildering waters o'er, 
Till sunset streaked with blood the sea. 



MAY CAROLS. 125 

My sleep the hoarse sea-thunders broke — 
Death-visaged cliffs, with feet foam-hid, 

Leaned forth their brows through vapour-smoke, 
Like tower, and tomb, and pyramid. 

In death-black shadow, ghostly white, 
The breaker raced o'er foaming shoals : 

From caverns cold as death all night 
Came wailings, as of suffering Souls. 

At morn, through clearing mist the star 

Of ocean o'er the billow rose : 
Down dropped the elemental war ; 

Tormented chaos found repose. 

Star of the ocean ! dear art thou, 

Ah ! not to sea- worn men alone : 
The Suffering Church, when shines thy brow 

Upon her penance, stays her moan. 

The Holy Souls draw in their breath : 

The sea of anguish rests in peace : 
And, from beyond the gates of death, 

Up swell the anthems of release. 



126 



MAY CAROLS. 



Haronis IDtrga, 

XLV. 

Blossom for ever, blossoming Rod ! 

Thou didst not blossom once to die : 
That Life which, issuing forth from God, 

Thy life enkindled, runs not dry. 

Without a root in sin-stained earth, 
; Twas thine to bud Salvation's flower : 

Xo single soul the Church brings forth 
But blooms from thee and is thy dower ! 



Rejoice, O Eve ! thy promise waned ; 

Transgression nipt thy flower with frost : 
But, lo ! a Mother man hath gained 

Holier than she in Eden lost. 



MAY CAROLS. 127 



Xlinica* 



XLVL 

While all the breathless woods aloof 
Lie hushed in noontide's deep repose, 

That dove, sun-warmed on yonder roof, 
Ah what a grave content she know r s ! 

One note for her ! Deep streams run smooth : 
The ecstatic song of transience tells : 

Ah what a depth of loving truth 
In that divine content there dwells ! 

All day, with down-dropt lids, I sat, 
In trance ; the present scene forgone : 

When Hesper rose, on Ararat, 

Methought, not English hills, he shone. 

Back to the ark, the waters o'er, 

That primal dove pursued her flight : 

A branch of that blest tree she bore 

Which feeds the Church with holy light. 



I2S MAY CAROLS. 

I heard her rustling through the air 
With sliding plume — no sound beside, 

Save the sea-sobbings everywhere, 
And siGrhs of that subsiding: tide. 



IRegina propbetarum* 

XL VII. 

She took the timbrel, as the tide 

Rushed, refluent, down the Red Sea shore : 
" The Lord hath triumphed," she cried : 

Her song rang out above the roar 

Of lustral waves that, wall to wall, 
Fell back upon that host abhorred : 

Above the gloomy watery pall, 
As eagles soar, her anthem soared. 

Miriam, rejoice ! a mightier far 

Than thou, one day shall sing with thee ! 
Who rises, brightening like a star 

Above yon bright baptismal sea ? 



MAY CAROLS. 129 

That harp which David touched who rears 
Heaven-high above those waters wide ? 

The Prophet-Queen ! Throughout all years 
She sings the Triumph of the Bride ! 



XLVIII. 

Still on the gracious work proceeds ; — 
The good, great tidings preached anew 

Yearly to green enfranchised meads, 

And fire-topped woodlands flushed with dew. 

Yon cavern's mouth we scarce can see ; 

Yon rock in gathering bloom lies meshed ; 
And all the wood-anatomy 

In thickening leaves is over-fleshed. 

That hermit oak, which frowned so long 
Upon the spring with barren spleen, 

Yields to the sinless Siren's song, 
And bends above her goblet green. 



130 MAY CAROLS. 

Young maples, late with gold embossed, — 
Lucidities of sun-pierced limes, 

No more surprise us — merged and lost 
Like prelude notes in deepening chimes. 

Disordered beauties and detached 
Demand no more a separate place : 

The abrupt, the startling, the unmatched, 
Submit to graduated grace; 

While upward from the ocean's marge 
The year ascends with statelier tread 

To where the sun his golden targe 

Finds, setting, on yon mountain's head. 



Uurris 2>a\n&ica, 

XLIX. 

The towered City loves thee well, 

Strong Tower of David's House ! In thee 

She hails the unvanquished citadel 
That frowns o'er Error's subject sea. 



MAY CAROLS. 131 

With magic might that Tower repels 
A host that breaks where foe is none, — 

No foe but statued Saints in cells 
High-ranged, and smiling in the sun. 

There stands Augustin ; Leo there ; 

And Bernard, with a maiden face 
Like John's ; and, strong at once and fair, 

That Spirit-Pythian, Athanase. 

Upon thy star-surrounded height 

God's Angel keepeth watch and ward ; 

And sunrise flashes thence ere night 
Hath left dark street and dewy sward. 



TUt Hctes ©r&inata. 



The watchman watched along the walls : 
And lo ! an hour or more ere light 

Loud rang his trumpet. From their halls 
The revellers rushed into the night. 



132 MAY CAROLS. 

There hung a terror on the air ; 

There moved a terror under ground ; — 
The hostile hosts, heard everywhere, 

Within, without — w r ere nowhere found. 

" The Christians to the lions ! Ho ! "— 
Alas ! self-tortured crowds, let be ! 

Let go your wrath \ your fears let go : 
Ye gnaw the net, but cannot flee. 

Ye drank from out Orestes' cup ; 

Orestes' Furies drave ye wild. 
Who conquers from on high ? Look up ! 

A Woman, holding forth a Child ! 



LI. 

As children when, with heavy tread, 
Men sad of face, unseen before, 

Have borne away their mother dead, 
So stand the nations thine no more. 






MAY CAROLS. 133 

From room to room those children roam, 
Heart-stricken by the unwonted black : 

Their house no longer seems their home : 
They search ; yet know not what they lack. 

Years pass : Self- Will and Passion strike 
Their roots more deeply day by day ; 

Old kinsmen sigh; and "how unlike" 
Is all the tender neighbours say : 

And yet at moments, like a dream, 

A mother's image o'er them flits : 
Like hers their eyes a moment beam ; 

The voice grows soft : the brow unknits : 

Such, Mary, are the realms once thine 
That know no more thy golden reign : 

Hold forth from heaven thy Babe divine ! 
O make thine orphans thine again ! 



134 MAY CAROLS. 



Sefces Sapiential 

LIL 

O that the wordy war might cease ! 

Self-sentenced Babel's strife of tongues ! 
Loud rings the arena. Athletes, peace ! 

Nor drown the wild-dove's Song of Songs. 

Alas, the wanderers feel their loss : 

With tears they seek — ah, seldom found — 

That peace whose volume is the Cross ; 
That peace which leaves not holy ground. 

Mary, the peaceful soul loves thee ! 

A happy child, not taught of Scribes, 
He stands beside the Church's knee ; 

From her the lore of Christ imbibes. 

Hourly he drinks it from her face : 
For there his eyes, he knows not how, 

The face of Him she loves can trace, 

And, crowned with thorns, the sovereign brow. 






MAY CAROLS. 135 

" Behold ! all colours blend in white ! 

Behold ! all Truths have root in Love I" 
So sings, half lost in light of light, 

Her Song of Songs the mystic Dove. 



Urutb* 

LIII. 

Profane are they, and without ruth, 

Unclean, unholy, and unjust, 
Who, loving knowledge, love not Truth : 

Such love is intellectual lust. 

He loves not Truth who over-runs 

Like hunting-ground her harvest store, 

Trampling the birthright of his sons ; 

Truth's gambler, staking "all" on "more ;' 

Who Truth from Error scorns to sift ; 

Contemns that Truth enthroned in state, 
God's Vestal keeping her sweet gift 

In fruitfulness inviolate ; 



136 MAY CAROLS. 

Who thirsts for truths of lesser place, 
Discovered Fact, or Natural Law, 

Yet spurns the supernatural base 

Of Truth's whole kingdom without flaw : 

For on the adamantine Rock 

Of Truth, Revealed, and Spirit-proved, 
Stands Faith, and meets the warring shock 

Of world on world with face unmoved, 

Thrice blest because not " Flesh and Blood " 
That knowledge certain, and serene 

To Peter taught of old, but God, 
Sole Teacher of the things unseen. 



(Bens won Sancta* 



LIV. 



I toiled along the public path : 

Loud rang the booths with knave and clown : 
Now laughter peals, now cries of wrath 

Assailed the suburb from the town. 



MAY CAROLS. 137 

Pleasure, the kennel Circe, brimmed 
Her cup for him that passed. Hard by 

Sabbathless labour, dust-begrimmed 
Alternated the curse and sigh. 

"Alas," I said, "no God is here ! 

The World, the Flesh, rule here confest : " 
I heard a voice ; an Angel near 

On sailed ; an altar touched his breast. 

He placed it by me, and I knelt ; 

Clamour and shout and dust were gone : 
I prayed, and in my prayer I felt 

The peace of God, and heard, " walk on : — 

;< Walk on : the Lands this hour that sleep 
A sleep of storm, shall wake to pray, 

And, praying, rest ; — her Feasts shall keep ; — 
Their long, sad years thenceforth a May ! " 



138 



MAY CAROLS. 



flfcater IDenerabtlts, 

LV. 

Come from the midnight mountain tops, 
The mountains where the panthers play : 

Descend ! the cowl of darkness drops ; 
Come fair and fairer than the day ! 

Our hearts are wounded with thine eyes : 
They stamp thereon in words of light 

The mystery of the starry skies ; 

The " Name o'er every name " they write. 

Come from thy Lebanonian peaks 

Whose sacerdotal cedars nod 
Above the world, when morning breaks ; 

The Mountain of the House of God. 

Weakness and Dream have passed like night: 
Religion claims her ancient bound, 

On-borne in venerable might, 

By lions haled, and turret-crowned. 






MAY CAROLS. 139 



LVI. 



The sunless day is sweeter yet 

Than when the golden sun-showers danced 
On bower new-glazed or rivulet : 

And Spring her banners first advanced. 

By wind unshaken hang in dream 

The wind-flowers o'er their dark green lair ; 
And those ensanguined cups that seem 

Not bodied forms, but woven of air. 

Nor bird is heard, nor insect flits : 
A tear-drop glittering on her cheek, 

Composed but shadowed, Nature sits — 
Yon primrose not more staid and meek. 

The light of pensive hope unquenched 
On those pathetic brows and eyes, 

She sits, by silver dew-showers drenched 
Through which the chill spring-odours rise. 

Was e'er on human countenance shed 
So sweet a sadness ? Once : no more ; . 

Then when his charge the Patriarch led 
Dream-warned to Egypt's distant shore : 



i 4 o MAY CAROLS. 

Down on her Infant Mary gazed ; 

Her face the angels marked with awe j 
Yet ? neath its dimness, undisplaced, 

Looked forth that smile the Magians saw. 



XTbc jfourtb ©olour, 

(The Meeting on Calvary.) 



LVII. 

She stands before Him on the Road : 

He bears the Cross ; He climbs the Steep : 

Three times He sinks beneath His load : 
To earth He sinks : she does not weep. 

She may not touch that Cross whose weight 
Against His will a stranger bears : 

In heart to bear it, and to wait 
His upward footsteps, this is hers. 

She may not prop that thorn-crowned Head : 
The waves of men between them break : 

Another's hand the veil must spread 
Against that forehead and that cheek. 



MAY CAROLS. 141 

Her eyes on His are fastened. Lo ! 

There stand they, met on Calvary's height, 
Twin mirrors of a single woe 

Made by reflection infinite. 

The sons of Sion round them rave : 
The Roman trumpet storms the wind : 

They goad Him on with spear and stave : 
He passes by : she drops behind. 



IRefugium peccatorum* 

LVIII. 

Say, who are those that beat with brands, 
Like bandits, on our palace-gate ? 

That storm our keep like rebel-bands ? 
That come like judgment, or like fate ? 

Say, who are those that spurn by night 
Our sumptuous floors with brazen shoon, 

And banquet halls whose latest light 
Is lightning, or a w r aning moon ? 



142 MAY CAROLS. 

Say, who are those that by our bed 

Like giants tower in iron mail ; 
That press against the prostrate head 

Their foot, and wind through heaven the flail ? 

The Sins are these ! Sin-pasturing Past ! 

How in thy darkness they have grown 
That seemed to die ! How we at last 

To pigmy size have shrunk, self-known ! 

Help, sinless Mother ! Bid Him spare ! 

He loves us more — that Judge benign — 
Than thou. ? Tis He that wills thy prayer : 

From Him it comes, that love of thine ! 



Uhc jfiftb Dolour* 

(Beside the Cross.) 

LIX. 

She stood in silence. Slowly passed 

The hours whose moments dropped in blood 

Its frown the Darkness further cast : 
She moved not : silently she stood. 



MAY CAROLS. 143 

No human sympathy she sought : 
Her help was God, and God alone ; 

Not even the instinctive respite caught 
From passionate gesture, sigh or moan. 

Her silence listened. On the air 

Like death-bells tolled that prime Decree 

Which bade the Eternal Victim bear 
Mankind's transgression. Let it be ! 

The Women round her heard all day 
The clash of arms, the scoffing tongue : 

She heard the breaking of that spray 

From which the fruit of Knowledge hung. 

Behold the Babe of Bethlehem ! Ay ! 

The Infant slumbered on thy breast • 
And thou that heard'st His earliest cry 

Must hear His " Consummatum est." 



144 MAY CAROLS. 



Stabat /Ifcater* 

LX. 

She stood : she sank not. Slowly fell 
Adown the Cross the atoning blood : 

In agony ineffable 

She offered still His own to God. 

Xo pang of His her bosom spared \ 
She felt in Him its several power : 

But she in heart His Priesthood shared : 
She offered Sacrifice that hour. 

11 Behold thy Son !" Ah, last bequest ! 

It breathed His last farewell ! The sword 
Predicted pierced that hour her breast : 

She stood : she answered not a word. 

His own in John He gave. She wore 
Thenceforth the Mother-crown of Earth. 

O Eve ! thy sentence too she bore ; 
That hour in sorrow she brought forth. 






MAY CAROLS. 145 



TRegtna flftartBrum. 

LXI. 

That tie, the closest ever twined, 

That linked a creature with her God, 

All ties of man in one combined 

When by His Cross that creature stood. 

In both, one Will all wishes quelled : 
On one great Sire were fixed their eyes : 

From sister hearts the death-stream welled :- 
That dread Consent was Sacrifice. 

In death her Spouse, her Son in life, 
Her wedding-garment was His Blood : 

It clasped her close — enough a wife 
To wear the crown of Widowhood. 

O Love ! alone thy topmost height 

They tread, who stand — thy clouds above- 
Where all the rock-hewn paths unite 

That branch from God, and lead to love ! 

K 



146 



MAY CAROLS. 



Zbe Sirtb 2)olout\ 

(Taken down from the Cross.) 

LXII. 

The Saviour from the Cross they took : 
Across His Mother's knee He lies : 

She wept not, but a little shook 

As with dead hand she closed dead eyes. 

The surface wave of grief we know : 
By us its depths are unexplored : 

She treads the still abyss below, 

Following the footsteps of her Lord. 

Above her head the great floods roll : 
Before her still He moves — her Hope : 

And calm, in heart of storm, her Soul, 
Calm as the whirlpool's central drop. 

The Saviour from the Cross they took : 
Across His Mothers knee He lay : 

O passers by ! be still and look ! 

That Twain compose one Cross for aye. 



MAY CAROLS. 147 

XTbe Seventb Bolour, 

(Before the Tomb.) 

LXIII. 

Before the Tomb the Mother sate 
Amid the new-delved garden ground : 

Her eyes upon its stony gate 

Were fixed, while darkness closed around. 

A wind above the olives crept : 

It seemed the world's collected sigh : 

That Mother's eyes their vigil kept : 
She felt but this ; her Lord was nigh. 

Behind her, leaning each on each, 

The Holy Women waited near : 
Nor any spake of comfort : speech 

Was slain by sorrow, and by fear. 

From realm to realm of night He passed, 
That Soul which smote the dark to-day : 

That Mother's eyes were settled fast 
Upon the Tomb where Jesus lay. 



148 MAY CAROLS. 



/Ifcater Bolorosa, 

LXIV. 

From her He passed ; yet still with her 
The endless thought of Him found rest ; 

A sad but sacred branch of myrrh 
For ever folded in her breast. 

A Boreal winter void of light — 

Such seemed her widowed days forlorn : 

She slept ; but in her breast all night 
Her heart lay waking till the morn. 

Sad flowers on Calvary that grew ; 

Sad fruits that ripened from the Cross ; 
These were the only joys she knew : 

Yet all but these she counted loss. 

Love strong as Death ! She lived through thee 
That mystic life whose every breath 

From Life's low harpstring amorously 
Draws out the sweetened name of Death. 






MAY CAROLS. 149 

Love stronger far than Death or Life ! 

Thy martyrdom was o'er at last : 
Her eyelids drooped ; and without strife 

To Him she loved her spirit passed. 



MAY CAROLS. 



PART III. 



"And a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, 
and the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars. 

"And she brought forth a man-child, who was to rule all nations with 
an iron rod: and her son was taken up to God, and to His throne." — 
Apocalypse xii. i, 5. 



MAY CAROLS. 153 



Hscensto Bominu 



Rejoice, O Earth, thy crown is won 
Rejoice, rejoice, ye heavenly host ! 

And thou, the Mother of the Son, 
Rejoice the first 3 rejoice the most ! 

Who captive led captivity — 

From Hades' void circumference 

Who raised the Patriarch Band on high, 
There rules, and sends us graces thence. 

Rejoice, glad Earth, o'er winter's grave 
With altars wreathed and clarions blown ; 

And thou, the Race Redeemed, out-brave 
The rites of Nature with thine own ! 

Rejoice, O Mary ! thou that long 

Didst lean thy breast upon the sword — 

Sad nightingale, the Spirit's song 

That sang'st all night ! He reigns, restored ! 



154 MAY CAROLS. 

Rejoice ! He goes, the Paraclete 

To send ! Rejoice ! He reigns on high ! 

The sword lies broken at thy feet : 
His triumph is thy victory ! 



Hscensto S>ominu 

il 

I take this reed — I know the hand 
That wields it must ere long be dust — 

And write, upon the fleeting sand 

Each tide o'er-sweeps, the words, "I trust." 

And if that sand one day was stone, 
And stood in courses near the sky, 

For towers by earthquake overthrown, 
Or mouldering piecemeal, what care I ? 

Things earthly perish : life to death 
And death to life in turn succeeds : 

The spirit never perisheth : 

The chrysalis its Psyche breeds. 



MAY CAROLS. 155 

True life alone is that which soars 

To Him who triumphed o'er the grave : 

With Him, on life's eternal shores, 
I trust one day a part to have. 

Ah, hark ! above the springing corn 
That chime ; in every breeze it swells ! 

Ye bells that wake the Ascension morn, 
Ye give us back our Paschal bells ! 



implicit jfaitb, 

"multum non multa." 

III. 

Of all great Nature's tones that sweep 
Earth's resonant bosom, far or near, 

Low-breathed or loudest, shrill or deep, 
How few are grasped by mortal ear ! 

Ten octaves close our scale of sound : — 
Its myriad grades, distinct or twined, 

Transcend our hearing's petty bound, 
To us as colours to the blind. 



156 MAY CAROLS. 

In Sound's unmeasured empire thus 

The heights, the depths alike we miss :— 

Ah, but in measured sound to us 
A compensating spell there is ! 

In holy music's golden speech 
Remotest notes to notes respond : 

Each octave is a world ; yet each 
Vibrates to worlds its own beyond. 

Our narrow pale the vast resumes ; 

Our sea-shell whispers of the sea : 
Echoes are ours of angel plumes 

That winnow far infinity ! 

— Clasp thou of Truth the central core ! 

Hold fast that centre's central sense ! 
An atom there shall fill thee more 

Than realms on Truth's circumference. 

That cradled Saviour, mute and small, 
Was God — is God while worlds endure ! 

Who holds Truth truly holds it all 
In essence, or in miniature. 



MAY CAROLS. 157 

Know what thou know'st ! He knoweth much 
Who knows not many things : and he 

Knows most whose knowledge hath a touch 
Of God's divine simplicity. 



flfcater lt)i\>entium> 

IV. 

In vain thine altars do they heap 

With blooms of violated May 
Who fail the words of Christ to keep ; 

Thy Son who love not, nor obey. 

Their songs are as a serpent's hiss ; 

Their praise a poniard's poisoned edge ; 
Their offering taints, like Judas' kiss, 

The shrine ; their vows are sacrilege. 

Sadly from such thy countenance turns : 
Thou canst not stretch thy Babe to such, 

Albeit for all thy pity yearns 

As greet Him with a leper's touch. 



158 MAY CAROLS. 

Who loveth thee must love thy Son : 

Weak Love grows strong thy smile beneath ; 

But nothing comes from nothing ; none 
Can reap Love's harvest out of Death. 



A sudden sun-burst in the woods, 
But late sad Winter's palace dim ! 

O'er quickening boughs and bursting buds 
Pacific glories shoot and swim. 

As when some heart, grief-darkened long, 
Conclusive joy by force invades — 

So swift the new-born splendours throng; 
Such lustre swallows up the shades. 

The sun we see not ; but his fires 
From stem to stem obliquely smite, 

Till all the forest aisle respires 

The golden-tongued and myriad light. 






MAY CAROLS. 159 

The caverns blacken as their brows 
With floral fire are fringed \ but all 

Yon sombre vault of meeting boughs 
Turns to a golden fleece its pall. 

As o'er it breeze-like music rolls : 
O Spring, thy limit-line is crossed ! 

O Earth, some orb of singing Souls 
Brings down to thee thy Pentecost ! 



Bomfnica ipentecostes* 

VI. 

Clear as those silver trumps of old 

That woke Judea's jubilee ; 
Strong as the breeze of morning, rolled 

O'er answering woodlands from the sea, 

That Evangelic anthem vast 

Which winds, like sunrise, round the globe, 
Following the sunrise, far and fast, 

And trampling on his fiery robe. 



160 MAY CAROLS. 

Once more the Pentecostal torch 
Lights on the courses of the year : 

The " upper chamber " of the Church 
Is thrilled once more with joy and fear. 

Who rears her brow from out the dust ? 

Who fixes on a world restored 
A gaze like Eve's, but more august ? 

Who lifts it heaven-ward on her Lord ? 

It is the Birthday of the Bride ! 

The new begins ; the ancient ends : 
From all the gates of Heaven flung wide 

The promised Paraclete descends. 

He who o'ershadowed Mary once 
O'ershades Humanity to day; 

And bids. her fruitful prove in sons 
Co-heritors with Christ for aye. 



MAY CAROLS. 161 



H)omfnica ipentecostes* 

VII. 

The Form decreed of tree and flower, 
The Shape susceptible of life, 

Without the infused, vivific Power, 
Were but a slumber or a strife. 

He whom the plastic hand of God 

Himself created out of earth 
Remained a statue and a clod 

Till spirit infused to life gave birth. 

So, till that hour, the Church. In Christ 
Her awful structure, nerve and bone, 

Though founded, shaped, and organised, 
Existed but in skeleton, 

Till down on that predestined frame, 
Complete through all its sacred mould, 

That Pentecostal Spirit came, — 
The self-same Spirit Who of old 



162 MAY CAROLS. 

Creative o'er the waters moved : 

Thenceforth the Church, made One and Whole, 
Arose in Him, and lived, and loved — 

His Temple she \ and He her Soul. 



VIII. 

Here, in this paradise of light, 

Superfluous were both tree and grass : 

Enough to watch the sunbeams smite 
Yon white flower sole in the morass ! 

From his cold nest the skylark springs ; 

Sings, pauses, sings ; shoots up anew ; 
Attains his topmost height, and sings 

Quiescent in his vault of blue. 

With eyes half-closed I watch that lake 

Flashed from whose plane the sun-sparks fly, 

Like Souls new-born that shoot and break 
From thy deep sea, Eternity ! 






MAY CAROLS. 163 

Ripplings of sunlight from the wave 

Ascend the white rock, high and higher ; 

Soft gurglings fill the satiate cave ; 
Soft airs amid the reeds expire. 

All round the lone and luminous meer 
The dark world stretches, far and free : 

That skylark's song alone I hear ; 
That flashing wave alone I see. 

O myriad Earth ! Where'er a Word 
Of thine makes way into the soul, 

An echo million-fold is stirred : — 
Of thee the part is as the whole ! 



IRegina Coelu 

IX. 

In some celestial realm we know 

The God-man keeps His court sublime, 

As Adam ruled the sphere below 
In that first Eden's sinless prime. 



1 64 MAY CAROLS. 

He too, that second Adam, hears 
Those rivers four engird His bound ; 

Serene advance of sleepless years 

With God's accomplished counsels crowned. 

Around Him, close as Eden leaves, 

The Souls consummate hang in trance : 

Like wind, the Spirit among them weaves 
Eternal song, or through the expanse 

On-wafts, like snowy clouds high-piled, 
Those pilgrims of God's trackless Will, 

The white hosts of the Undefiled 
Wliom love divine alone could fill. 

The lustral mist for aye ascends : 

All creatures mix, secure from strife : 

At last the Tree of Knowledge blends 
Its branches with the Tree of Life. 

An Eve partakes that Eden. She 

Who decked His cradle, shares His throne : 
The solitudes of Deity, 

These, these are His, and His alone. 






MAY CAROLS. 165 



SCwocata, 
x. 

I saw, in visions of the night, 

Creation like a sea outspread, 
With surf of stars and storm of light 

And movements manifold and dread. 

Then lo, within a Human Hand 
A Sceptre moved that storm above : 

Thereon, as on the golden wand 

Of kings new-crowned, there sat a Dove. 

Beneath her gracious weight inclined 
That Sceptre drooped. The waves had rest : 

And Sceptre, Hand, and Dove were shrined 
Within a glassy ocean's breast. 

His Will it was that placed her there ! 

He at whose word the tempests cease 
Upon that Sceptre planted fair 

That peace-bestowing type of Peace ! 



166 MAY CAROLS. 



Ifest 55, ZLrinitatis, 

XL 

Fall back, all worlds, into the abyss, 
That man may contemplate once more 

That which He ever was Who is : 
The Eternal Essence we adore. 

Angelic hierarchies ! recede 

Beyond extinct Creation's shade ! 
What were ye at the first ? Decreed : — 

Decreed, not fashioned ; thought, not made ! 

Like wind the untold Millenniums passed. 

Sole-throned He sat • yet not alone : 
Godhead in Godhead still was glassed ; 

The Spirit was breathed from Sire and Son. 

Prime Virgin, separate and sealed ; 

Nor less of social Love the root ; 
Dimly in lowliest shapes revealed ; 

Entire in every Attribute ; 



MAY CAROLS. 167 

Thou liv'st in all things, and around ; 

To Thee external is there nought ; 
Thou of the boundless art the bound ; 

And still Creation is Thy Thought. 

In vain, O God, our wings we spread ; 

So distant art Thou — yet so nigh. 
Remains but this, when all is said, 

For Thee to live ; in Thee to die. 



jfestum ££♦ Urtmtatis, 

XII. 

Like some broad flood whose conquering course 
Shakes the dim forests night and day 

On sweeps the prime Creative Force, 
And re-creates the worlds alway. 

The eternal Mind, the sole-born Thought, 
Shape-entering matter's stamp and mould, 

Through all the spaces wonder-fraught 
Speaks law and order as of old. 



i6S MAY CAROLS. 

That Love which, ere it overflowed, 
And beat on lone Creation's shore, 

Issuing from Both with Both abode, 
Proceeds, abides, for evermore. 

Yet man who — not in brow or breast, 
But soul, and reason, and free-will — 

Imaged his Maker, and expressed, 
Ignored that Triune Mystery still ! 

Here failed his science — failed as sight 
Earth's motion fails to mark ! Ah me ! 

Our eye can track the swallow's flight \ 
The circling sphere it cannot see ! 

And yet as Sense, abashed, down kneels, 
And wins from Science lore sublime, 

To kneeling science Faith reveals 

Mysteries transcending space and time. 

The Infinite remains unknown, 
Too vast for man to understand : 

In Him, the " Woman's Seed," alone 
We trace God's footprint in the sand. 



MAY CAROLS. 169 



Ttbromis Urinitatts, 

XIII. 

Each several Saint the Church reveres, 
What is he but an altar whence 

Some separate Virtue ministers 
To God a separate frankincense ? 

Each beyond each, not made of hands, 
They rise, a ladder angel-trod : 

Star-bright the last and loftiest stands : 
That altar is the Throne of God. 

Lost in the uncreated light 

A Form all Human rests thereon : 

His shade from that surpassing height 
Beyond Creation's verge is thrown. 

Him " Lord of lords, and King of kings," 
The chorus of all worlds proclaim : 

" He took from her," one angel sings 
At intervals, " His Human frame." 



170 MAY CAROLS. 



IRegina Sanctorum ©mnfum. 

XIV. 

He seemed to linger with them yet : 

But late ascended to the skies, 
They saw — ah, how could they forget? — 

The form they loved, the hands, the eyes. 

From anchored boat — in lane or field — 

He taught : He blessed, and brake the bread ; 

The hungry filled ; the afflicted healed ; 
And wept, ere yet He raised, the dead. 

But when, like some supreme of hills, 
Whose feet shut out its summit's snow. 

That, hid no longer, heavenward swells 
As further from its base we go, 

Abroad His perfect Godhead shone, 

Each hour more plainly kenned on high. 

And clothed His Manhood with the sun, 
And, lifting, cleansed the adoring eye ; 



MAY CAROLS. 171 

Then fixed His Church a deepening gaze 
Upon His Saints. With Him they sate, 

And, burning in that Godhead's blaze, 
They seemed that Manhood to dilate. 

His were they : of His likeness each 
Had grace some fragment to present, 

And nearer brought to mortal reach 
Some imitable lineament. 



Saint Josepb's patronage* 

" Constituit eum dominum domus suae." 
The Household Saints. 

XV. 

The Apostle's life, the Martyr's death, 

The all-conquering Word, all-wondrous Sign, 

Have greatness sense-discerned. By faith, 
And Faith's strong Love, we reach to thine. 

Through lower heavens those others run, 
Fair planets kenned by untaught eyes : 

Thy loftier light is later won, 

Serener gleam from lonelier skies. 



172 MAY CAROLS. 

Thou stand'st within : they move without : 
More near the God-Man was thy place : 

It was : it is : we cannot doubt 

That as thy greatness was thy grace. 

No priestly tiar, no prophet rod 

Were thine : with them thou art who zone 
The altar of Incarnate God, 

Who throng the white steps of the Throne. 

A hierarchy apart they sit, 

A Royal House benign yet dread, 

In Godhead veiled, by Godhead lit : — 
There highest shines thy silver head. 



lEjaltapit Dumfles. 

XVI. 

The Chief of Creatures lived unknown, 
Sharing her Maker's sacred cloud, 

Like some fair headland flower-bestrewn 
That sleeps within its sea-born shroud. 



MAY CAROLS. 173 

The Brethren sought precedence : Christ 
To them gave titles. He, their God, 

For Him " the Son of Man " sufficed : 
The hidden way with Him she trod. 

She died : the idols sank, and they 

Those four great Heresies, whose pride 

Successive blurred the fount of day, 
Her Son's Divinity denied : 

As God — as Man — secure He reigned :— 
Then came her hour : then shone her crown, 

And all that Saintly Court arraigned 
By hero-worship's knave and clown. 

Humility was crowned, though late : 
That boastful, pagan greatness fell : 

And on their thrones the meek ones sate 
"Judging the tribes of Israel." 



174 MAY CAROLS. 



TLxx sola interemistt omnes H^reses," 

XVII. 

What tenderest hand uprears on high 

The standard of Incarnate God ? 
Successive portents that deny 

Her Son, who tramples ? She who trod 

Long since on Satan ! Who were those 
That, age by age, their Lord denied ? 

Their seats they set with Mary's foes : — 
They mocked the Mother as the Bride. 

Of such was Arius ; and of such 

* He whom the Ephesian Sentence felled : 

f Her Title triumphed. At the touch 
Of Truth the insurgent rout was quelled : 

Back, back the hosts of Hell were driven 
As forth that sevenfold thunder rolled : 

And in the Church's mystic Heaven 
There was great silence as of old. 

* Nestorius. f Dei para. 



MAY CAROLS. 175 



XVIII. 



Where is the crocus now, that first, 

When earth was dark and heaven was grey, 

A prothalamion flash, up-burst ? 

Ah, then we deemed not of the May ! 

The clear stream stagnates in its course ; 

Narcissus droops in pallid gloom \ 
Far off the hills of golden gorse ; 

A dusk Saturnian face assume. 



The seeded dandelion dim 

Casts loose its air-globe on the breeze ; 
Along the grass the swallows skim ; 

The cattle couch anions; the trees. 



Yet ever lordlier loveliness 

Succeeds the charm that cheats our hold 
The thorn assumes her snowy dress ; 

Laburnum bowers their robes of gold. 



176 MAY CAROLS. 

Down waves successive of the year 
The season slides ; but sinks to rise, 

With ampler view, as on we steer, 
Of lovelier lights and loftier skies. 



XIX. 

Before the morn began to break 
The bright One bent above that pair 

Whose childless vows aspired to take 
The Mother of their Lord for heir. 

'Twas August : even in midnight shade 
The roofs were hot, and hot the street : — 

" Build me a fane," the vision said, 

" Where first your eyes the snow shall meet." ' 

With snow the Esquiline was strewn 

At morn ! — Fair Legend ! who but thinks 

Of thee, w T hen first the breezes blown 
From summer Alp to Alp he drinks ? 

* Santa Maria Maggiore, on the Esquiline, at Rome. 



MAY CAROLS. 177 

He stands : he hears the torrents dash : 

The sultry valley steams ; and lo ! 
Through chasms of endless azure flash 

The peaks of everlasting snow ! 

He stands ; he listens ; on his ear 
Swells softly forth some virgin hymn, 

The white procession winding near, 

With glimmering lights in sunshine dim. 

Mother of Purity and Peace ! 

They sing the Saviour's name and thine : — 
Clothe them for ever with the fleece 

Unspotted of thy Lamb Divine ! 



ffest Ipurttatis* 

xx. 

Far down the bird may sing of love ; 

The honey-bearing blossom blow : 
But hail, ye hills that rise above 

The limit of perpetual snow ! 



178 MAY CAROLS. 

O Alpine City, with thy walls 
Of rock eterne and spires of ice, 

Where torrent still to torrent calls, 
And precipice to precipice ; — 

How like that holier City thou, 

The heavenly Salem's earthly porch, 

Which rears among the stars her brow, 

And plants firm feet on earth — the Churcli ! 

" Decaying, ne'er to be decayed," 

Her woods, like thine, renew their youth : 

Her streams, in rocky arms embayed, 
Are clear as virtue, strong as truth. 

At times the lake may burst its dam ; 

Black pine and rock the valley strew ; 
But o'er the ruin soon the lamb 

Its flowery pasture crops anew. 

Like thee, in regions near the sky 
She piles her cloistered snows, and thence 

Diffuses gales of purity 
O'er fields of consecrated sense. 



MAY CAROLS. 179 

On those still heights a love-light glows 
The plains from them alone receive ; — 

Not all the Lily ! There thy Rose, 
O Mary, triumphs, morn and eve ! 



XXI. 

A low ground-mist, the hills between, 
Measuring their intervals, distends, 

Ridge beyond ridge, the sylvan scene ; 
Far off the reddening river bends 



From bridge to town. On hueless air 
The moon suspends her pearly shell 

Above the eastern ledges bare ; 

But sunset throngs yon western dell 

That pants through amethystine mist, 
And gleams as though the Sons of God 

Through golden ether stooped, and kissed 
Some Syrian vale the Saviour trod ! 



1S0 MAY CAROLS. 

The beatific Splendours wane : — 
The hills, of all that sweetness gone, 

A roseate memory still retain : — 

Thou compline chime, peal on, peal on ! 

Of Him thou sing'st whose Blood erased 
Earth's ancient stain by power divine ; 

Of them, that second pair, who paced 
That second Eden, Palestine. 



jfoe&eris Hrca, 

XXII. 

From end to end, O God, Thy Will 

With swift yet ordered might doth reach 

Thy purposes their scope fulfil 

In sequence, resting each on each. 



In Thee is nothing sudden ; nought 
From harmony and law that swerves : 

The orbits of Thine act and thought 
In soft gradation wind their curves. 



MAY CAROLS. 181 

O then with what a gradual care 

Must thou have shaped that Ark and Shrine 
Ordained the Eternal Word to bear — 

That Garden of Thy mystic Vine ! 

How many a gift within her breast 

Lay stored, for Him a couch to strew ! 

How many a virtue lined His nest ! 
How many a grace beside Him grew ! 

Of love on love what sweet excess ! 

How deep a faith ! a hope how high ! — 
Mary ! on earth of thee we guess ; 

But we shall see thee when we die ! 



Spiritus Sponsa* 

XXIII. 

As though, fast-borne the hills along, 
At dawn some shepherd girl or boy 

Should wrestle with the lark in song, 
And, shaft for shaft, retort his joy, 



1 82 MAY CAROLS. 

So walked, the hills of Truth above, 
The Bride Elect, the sinless maid ; 

So, challenged by the all-heavenly Love 
The all-heavenly Lover's voice repaid. 

From zenith heights incessant fell 
On her His grace like sunny rain : 

Unvanquished and invincible 

Her heart repaid that golden grain. 

Perchance, in many an instant gleam, 
She caught, unscorched, and unabashed, 

That vision of the Face supreme 

Which on her first-born spirit flashed ! 

Diseased are we : the infectious fire 
Corrupts our life-blood from our birth : 

She, she was like the unfallen Sire, 
Compacted out of virgin earth. 

In God she lived : His world she trod : 
Saw Him and His ; saw nought beside :- 

He only lives who lives in God : 
That hour when Adam fell, he died. 



MAY CAROLS. 183 



©rante. 



XXIV. 

She mused upon the Saints of old \ 

Rock-like, on rock she stood, foot-bare : 

On Him she mused, that Child foretold ; 
To Him she held her hands in prayer — 

Unwavering hands that, drawing fires 

Of grace from heaven, our earth endowed 

With heavenly breath — like mountain spires 
That suck the lightning from the cloud. 

No moment passed without its crown ; 

And each new grace was used so well 
It dragged some tenfold talent down, 

Some miracle on miracle. 

O golden House ! O boundless store 
Of wealth by heavenly commerce won ! 

When God Himself could give no more, 
He gave thee all ; He gave His Son ! 



MAY CAROLS. 



IRespejit Ibumilitatem, 

XXV. 

Not all thy Purity, although 

The whitest moon that ever lit 
The peaks of Lebanonian snow 

Shone dusk and dim compared with it \ — 

Not that great Love of thine, whose beams 
Transcended in their virtuous heat 

Those suns which melt the ice-bound streams, 
And make earth's pulses newly beat ; — 

It was not these that from the sky 

Drew down to thee the Eternal Word : 

He looked on thy Humility ; 

He knew thee, " Handmaid of thy Lord." 

Let no one claim with thee a part ; 

Let no one, Mary, name thy name, 
While, aping God, upon his heart 

Pride sits, a Demon robed in flame. 



MAY CAROLS. 185 

Proud Vices, die ! Where Sin has place 

Be Sin's avenger self-disgust : 
Proud Virtues, doubly die, that Grace 

At last may burgeon from your dust ! 



Abutter tfovtis. 

XXVI. 

Supreme among the things create 

God's Image with the downward brow ! 

Greatness that know'st not thou art great ! 
Thus great, Humility art thou. 

All strength beside is weakness. Might 
Belongs to God : and they alone, 

Self-emptied souls and seeming-slight, 

Are filled with God : they share His throne. 

O Mary ! strong wert thou and meek ; 

Thy meekness gave thee strength divine : 
Thyself in nothing didst thou seek ; 

Therefore thy Maker made Him thine. 



186 MAY CAROLS. 

Through Pride our parents disobeyed ; 

Rebellious Sense avenged the wrong : 
The Soul, the body's captive made, 

No more was fruitful, or was strong. 

With barrenness the earth was cursed ; 

Inviolate she brought forth no more 
Her fruits, nor freely as at first : — 

Thou cam/st, her Eden to restore ! 

Low breathes the wind upon the string ; 

The harp, responsive, sounds in turn : 
Thus o'er thy Soul the Spirit's wing 

Creative passed ; and Christ was born. 



Qu CiPitate Sanctificata IRequievi. 

XXVII. 

In silence, like a ridge of snows 
Slow reared in lands for ever calm, 

On Sion's brow the Temple rose ; 
In stillness grew as grows the palm. 



MAY CAROLS. 187 

Far off, on ridges vapour-draped, 

Was hewn and carved each destined stone : 
Far off, the axe the cedars shaped 

Upon their native Lebanon. 

So rose that Temple, holier far, 

Incarnate Godhead's sacred shrine : 

Round her there swelled no din of war : 
The peace that girt her was divine. 

The deep foundations of that fane 
Were laid, ere lived the hills and seas, 

In many a dread, unquarried vein 

Of God's wide Will, and fixed Decrees, 

High Queen of Peace ! Her God possessed, 
Her heart could feel no earthly want : 

His kingdom, 'stablished in her breast, 
Triumphant was, not militant : 

And day by day more amply played 

His love about its raptured thrall, 
Like some eternal sunset stayed 

On cliff rich-veined, or mountain wall. 



MAY CAROLS. 



Quasi Ce&rus ejultata sum in Xibano^ 

XXVIII. 

Behold ! I sought in all things rest : 
My Maker called me : I obeyed : 

On me He laid His great behest : 
In me His tabernacle made. 

The world's Creator thus bespake : 

" My Salem be thy heritage : 
Thy rest within mine Israel make : 

In Sion root thee, age by age." 

Within the City well-beloved 

Thenceforth I grew from flower to fruit : 
And in an ancient race approved 

Behold thenceforth I struck my root. 

like Carmel's cedar, or the palm 
That gladdens 'mid Engaddi's dew, 

Or Plane-tree set by waters calm, 

I stood, and round my fragrance threw. 

* Ecclesiasticus xxiv. 












MAY CAROLS. 

Behold ! I live where dwells not sin : 
I breathe in climes no foulness taints : 

I reign in God's fair Court, and in 
The full assembly of His Saints. 



Sapiential 

XXIX. 

My flowers are flowers of gladness : mine 
The boughs of honour and of grace : 

Pure as the first bud of the vine 
My fragrance freshens all the place. 

The Mother of fair Love am I : 

With me is Wisdom's name and praise : 
With me are Hope, and Knowledge high, 

And sacred Fear, and peaceful days. 

Through garden plots my course I took 
To bathe the beds of herb and tree : 

Then to a river swelled my brook : — 
Anon my river was a sea. 

* Ecclesiasticus xxiv. 



190 MAY CAROLS. 

More high that sea shall rise, and shine 
Far off, a prophet-beam of morn, 

Because my doctrine is not mine, 
But light of God for Seers unborn. 



Seati mites, 
xxx. 

Thy song is not the song of morn, 

O thrush, but calmer and more strong : 

While sunset woods around thee burn, 
And echoing stems thy strain prolong. 

songstress of the thorn whereon 

As yet the white but streaks the green, 
Sing on ! sing on ! Thou sing'st as one 
That sings of what his eyes have seen ! 

In thee some Seraph's rapture tells 

Of joys we guess not ! Heaven draws near : 

1 hear the immortal City's bells : 
The triumph of the blest I hear. 






MAY CAROLS. 791 

The whole wide earth, to God heart-bare, 
Basks like some happy Umbrian vale 

By Francis trodden and by Clare, 
When anthems sweetened every gale, 

When greatness thirsted to be good, 

When faith was meek and love was brave, 

When hope by every cradle stood, 

And rainbows spanned each new-made grave. 



Sine Xabe original! Concepts 

XXXI. 

Her foot is on the Lord of night : 

On Heaven, not him, are fixed her eyes : 

That foot is, as a lily, light ; — 

Not less that Serpent writhes and dies ! 

O Eve, he dies — that tempter fell ! 

O Earth, that pest whose poison-spume, 
Exasperate with the fires of hell, 

Thy blood envenomed, meets his doom ! 



192 MAY CAROLS. 

But whence the conquering puissance ? Lo ! 

That Woman clasps the " Woman's Seed : " 
That Infant quells the infernal foe : 

Messiah triumphs : His the deed ! 

The weight she feels not she transmits : 
The weight of worlds her arms sustain : 

Who made the worlds — in heaven Who sits — 
Through her that foe hath touched and slain ! 



Sine Xabe oriQinalt Concepts 

XXXII. 

Could she, that Destined One, could she 
On whom His gaze was stayed for aye, 

Transgress like Eve, partake that Tree, 
Become, like her, the Dragon's prey ? 

Had He no Pythian shaft that hour, 
Her Son — her God — to pierce that Foe 

Which strove her greatness to devour, 
Eclipse her glories ? Deem not so ! 



MAY CAROLS. 193 

He saw her in that First Decree : 

He saw the Assailant ; sent the aid : — 

Filial it was, His love for thee 

Ere thou wert born ; ere worlds were made. 



Sine Xabe original! Concepts 

XXXIII. 

When man gives up the ghost, behold, 
Honouring his God's Decree august 

His body melts : the mortal mould 
Revisiteth its native dust. 

The bulwarks of the breast give way : 

Those eyes that glorying watched the sun : 

Each atom-speck of mortal clay 
Foregoes its nature — all save one. 

A something — germ or power — survives, 

That seed which linked, from birth to death, 

The structure's myriad cyclic lives, 
That remnant never perisheth. 



194 MAY CAROLS. 

That seed reserved, too fine, too small 
For eye to scan, for chance to mar, 

Shall soar to meet God's trumpet-call, 
Re-clad, and glittering like a star. 

With Man so fared it at the Fall : 

The Race lay dead : She did not die : 

One seed survived — the hope of all — 
Thy pledge, Redeemed Humanity ! 



Sine Xabe original! Concepts 

XXXIV. 

Met in a point * the circles twain 

Of temporal and eternal things 
Embrace, close linked. Redemption's chain 

Drops thence to earth its myriad rings. 

In either circle, from of old, 

That point of meeting stood decreed ; — 
Twin mysteries cast in one deep mould, 

"The Woman," and "the Woman's Seed.' 

* The Incarnation. 



MAY CAROLS. 195 

Mary, long ages ere thy birth 

Resplendent with Salvation's Sign 
In thee a stainless hand the earth 

Put forth, to meet the Hand Divine ! 

The Word made Flesh ; the Way ; the Door \ — 

The link that dust with Godhead blends ! 

Through Him the worlds their God adore : — 

Through thee that God to man descends. 



Sine Xafte original! Concepts 
xxxv. 

A soul-like sound, subdued yet strong, 
A whispered music, mystery-rife, 

A sound like Eden airs among 

The branches of the Tree of Life — 

At first no more than this : at last 
The voice of every land and clime, 

It swept o'er Earth, a clarion blast : 

Earth heard, and shook with joy sublime. 



196 MAY CAROLS. 

Mary ! thy triumph was her own ! 

In thee she saw her prime restored : 
She saw ascend a spotless Throne 

For Him, her Saviour, and her Lord. 

First trophy of all-conquering Grace, 
First victory of that Blood all pure, 

Of man's once fair, but fallen race, 
Thou stood'st, the monument secure. 

The Church had spoken. She that dwells 

Sun-clad with beatific light, 
From Truth's uncounted citadels, 

From Sion's Apostolic height, 

Had stretched her sceptred hands, and pressed 
The seal of Faith, defined and known, 

Upon that Truth till then confessed 
By Love's instinctive sense alone. 



MAY CAROLS. 197 



jfremuerunt (Sentes, 

XXXVI. 

The sordid World, insane through pride, 
Masking her sin in virtue's name, 

Rejects, usurps, self-deified, 

The Immaculate Mother's sacred claim. 

" The Earth is mine, arid Earth's desires : 
My Science reigns from zone to zone : 

I warm my hands o'er Nature's fires ; 

I reap the fields those hands have sown : 

II From depths unknown I crept unseen 
Through worm and beast to Man's estate 

My hands are clean : / rule, a Queen 
Immortal and Immaculate." 

Thus boasteth Pride with brazen brow ; 

The Pride which still " believes a lie " : — 
The counter-boast of Grace art thou, 

Immaculate Humility ! 



198 MAY CAROLS. 

Therefore, like Western hill that flings 
O'er sunset vales its gradual shade, 

Thy power shall wax when sensuous things 
Dissolve, and earthly grandeurs fade. 

In the world's eve thy Star shall flash 

Through reddening skies that cease to weep, 

While kings to earth their sceptres dash, 
And angel bands the harvest reap. 



Ube TRainbow* 

XXXVII. 

All-glorious shape that fleet'st wind-swept 
Athwart the empurpled pine-girt steep, 

That, sinless, from thy birth hast wept, 
All-gladdening, till thy death must weep ; 

That in eterne ablution still 

Thine innocence in shame dost shroud, 
And, washed where stain was none, dost fill 

With light thy penitential cloud ; 



MAY CAROLS. 199 

Illume with peace our glooming glen, 
O'er-arch with hope yon distant sea, 

To angels whispering and to men, 
Of her whose lowlier sanctity 

In God's all-cleansing freshness shrined 
Renounced all pureness of her own, 

And aye her lucent brow inclined, 

God's ' Handmaid J meek, before His throne. 



Hncilla 2)omim* 

XXXVIII. 

The crown of Creatures, first in place, 
Was, of all creatures, creature most : 

By nature nothing — all by grace ; 
Redemption's first, and loftiest boast. 

Handmaid of God in heart and will, 
Without His life she seemed a death ; 

A void that He alone could fill, 
A word suspended on His breath. 



MAY CAROLS. 

Yet — void and nothing — she in Him 
The Creature's sole perfection found : — 

She was the great Rock's shadow dim ; 
She was the silence, not the sound. 

On golden airs — by Him upheld — 
She knelt, a soft Subjection mute, 

A hushed Dependance, tranced and spelled. 
Still yearning towards the Absolute. 

She was a sea-shell from the deep 
Of God ; her function this alone, 

Of Him to whisper as in sleep, 
In everlasting undertone. 

This hour on Him her eyes are set ! 

And those who tread the earth she trod 
Like her, themselves in her forget, 

And her remember but in God. 



MAY CAROLS. 201 



XXXIX. 



Brow-bound with myrtle and with gold, 
Spring, sacred now from blasts and blights, 

Lifts high in firm, untrembling hold 
Her chalice of fulfilled delights. 

Confirmed around her queenly lip 

The smile late wavering, on she moves ; 

And seems through deepening tides to step 
Of steadier joys and larger loves. 

The stony Ash itself relents, 

Into the blue embrace of May 
Sinking, like old impenitents 

Heart-touched at last ; and, far away, 

The long wave yearns along the coast 

With sob suppressed, like that which thrills, 

Whilst o'er the altar mounts the Host, 
Some chapel on the Irish hills. 



202 MAY CAROLS. 



Corpus Cbristt 

XL 

Rejoice, thou Church of God ! be glad, 
This day triumphant here below ! 

He cometh, in meekest emblems clad ; 
Himself He cometh to bestow ! 

That Body which thou gav'st, O Earth, 

He gives thee back — that Flesh, that Blood- 
Born of the Altar's mystic birth ; 
At once thy Worship and thy Food. 

He who of old on Calvary bled 

On all thine altars lies to-day, 
A bloodless Sacrifice, but dread ; 

The Lamb in heaven adored for aye. 

His Godhead on the Cross He veiled ; 

His Manhood here He veileth too : 
But Faith has eagle eyes unsealed ; 

And Love to Him she loves is true. 



MAY CAROLS. 203 

"I will not leave you orphans. Lo ! 

While lasts the world with you am I." 
Saviour ! we see Thee not ; but know, 

With burning hearts, that Thou art nigh ! 

He comes ! Blue Heaven, thine incense breathe 

O'er all the consecrated sod ; 
And thou, O Earth, with flowers enwreathe 

The steps of thine advancing God ! 



Corpus Cbristu 

XLL 

What music swells on every gale ? 

What heavenly Herald speedeth past ? 
Vale sings to vale, " He comes ; all hail ! n 

Sea sobs to sea, " He comes at last." 

The Earth bursts forth in choral song ; 

Aloft her " Lauda Sion " soars ; 
Her myrtle boughs at once are flung 

Before a thousand Minster doors. 



204 U^y CAROLS. 

Far on the white processions wind 

Through wood and plain and street and court 
The kings and prelates pace behind 

The King of kings in seemly sort. 

The incense floats on Grecian air ; 

Old Carmel echoes Calpe's chant ; 
In every breeze the torches flare 

That curls the waves of the Levant. 

On Raman's plain — in Bethlehem's bound — 
Is heard to-day a gladsome voice : 

" Rejoice," it cries, "the lost is found ! 
With Mary's joy, O Earth, rejoice ! w 



5n morte Ztutamen. 

XLII. 

It was the dread last Eucharist : 

The hopes and fears of earth were gone ; 
The latest, lingering friend dismissed ; 

The bed was ashes strewed o'er stone. 



MAY CAROLS. 205 

It was the dear last Eucharist : 

The old man lay in silent prayer : 
His heart was now a shrine, and Christ 

Was with His Mother whispering there. 

He heard them ; heard within that veil 

Voices that Angels may not hear, 
Not he that said to Mary, " hail," 

Not he that watched the Sepulchre ; 

Voices that met with touch like light ; 

Murmurs that mixed, as when their breath 
Two pine trees, side by side, unite : 

Of Love one whispered ; one of Death. 



Uhc Uwo Xast (Sifts, 

XLIII. 

11 Behold thy Mother ! " From the Cross 
He gave her — not to one alone : 

We are His Brethren ; unto us 
He gave a Mother as to John. 



206 MAY CAROLS. 

Behold the greatest gift of Christ, 
Save that wherein Himself He gives, 

The wonder-working Eucharist, 
Sole life of each that truly lives : 

Mysterious Bread, not joined and knit 
With him that eats, like mortal food, 

But, fire-like, joining him with It, 

And blending with the Church of God ! 

Mary ! from thee the Saviour took 

That Flesh He gives ! The mercies twain 

Like streams of a divided brook, 
But separate to meet again. 



XLIV. 

Pleasant the swarm about the bough ; 

The meadow-whisper round the woods ; 
And for their coolness pleasant now 

The murmur of the falling floods. 



MAY CAROLS. 207 

Pleasant beneath the thorn to lie, 

And let a summer fancy loose ; 
To hear the cuckoo's double cry ; 

To make the noontide sloth's excuse. 

Panting, but pleased, the cattle stand 
Knee-deep in water-weed and sedge, 

And scarcely crop that greener band 
Of osiers round the river's edge. 

But hark ! Far off the south wind sweeps 
The golden-foliaged groves among, 

Renewed or lulled, with rests and leaps — 
Ah ! how it makes the spirit long 

To drop its earthly weight, and drift 
Like yon white cloud, on pinions free, 

Beyond that mountain's purple rift, 
And o'er that scintillating sea ! 



2oS MAY CAROLS. 



ffcst Bssumptfonis. 

XLV. 

The mother of the heavenly Child 

Who made the worlds, and who redeemed, 

The maid and mother undefiled : — 
She died ; or else to die she seemed. 

Once more above the late-entombed 
They bent. What found they? Vacant space: 

To heaven had Mary been assumed, 
And only flowers were in the place. 

O happy earth ! Elected sphere ! 

Hope of that starry host above ! 
Thou too thy Maker's voice shalt hear ; 

Thou too thy great Assumption prove ! 

The earth shall be renewed : the skies 
Shall bloom with glories unrevealed : 

Each season new but typifies 

The wonders then to be unsealed. 



MAY CAROLS. 209 

Revives, each spring, a world that died : — 
A world by summer's store encreased 

Shall hear ere long that mandate wide, 
" Prepare the glad Assumption Feast ! " 



Blfas ant> Enocfx 

XLVI. 

O thou that rodest up the skies, 

Assumed ere death, on steeds of fire, 

That, rapt from earth in mortal guise, 
Some air immortal dost respire ! 

That, ambushed in the enshrouding sheen, 
In quiet lulled of soul and flesh, 

With one great thought of Him, the Unseen, 
Thy ceaseless vigil dost refresh ; 

Old lion of Carmelian steeps ! 

Upon God's mountain, where, O where,. 
Or couchant by His unknown deeps, 

Mak'st thou thine everlasting lair ? 



MAY CAROLS. 

Hast thou, that earlier Seer beside, 

Who " walked with God, and was not," him 

By contemplation glorified, 

When faith, in shallower hearts, grew dim, 

Hast thou — despite corporeal bars — 
A place among those Hierarchies, 

Who fix on Mary's Throne, like stars, 
The light of never-closing eyes ? 

Behold, there is a debt to pay ! 

With Enoch hid thou art on high : 
But both shall back return one day, 

To gaze once more on earth, and die. 



Be /IDonte Carmelo, 

XLVIL 

Carmel, with Alp and Apennine, 
Low whispers in the wind that blows 

Beneath the Eastern stars, ere shine 
The lights of mornincr on their snows. 



MAY CAROLS. 211 

Of thee, Elias, Carmel speaks, 

And that white cloud, so small at first, 

Her Type, that neared the mountain peaks 
To quench a dying nation's thirst. 

On Carmel, like a sheathed sword, 
Thy monks abode till Jesus came ; 

On Carmel then they served their Lord ; — 
Then Carmel rang with Mary's name. 

Blow over all the garden ; blow 

O'er all the garden of the West, 
Balm breathing Orient ! Whisper low 

The secret of thy spicy nest ! 

" Who from the Desert upward moves 
Like cloud of incense onward borne ? 

Who, moving, rests on Him she loves ? 
Who mounts from regions of the Morn ? 

" Behold ! The apple-tree beneath — 
There where of old thy Mother fell — 

I raised thee up. More strong than Death 
Is Love ; — more strong than Death or Hell."* 

* Cant. viii. 5, iii. 6. 



212 MAY CAROLS. 



Das Sptrituale* 

XLVIIL 

High, winged Heart, and crowned with fire ! 

O winged with pinions of the morn, 
O crowned with flames whose every spire 

Bears witness to that crown of thorn ! 

Fair Dove of God, that, still at rest, 
On speed'st in never wavering flight, 

Winging the illimitable Breast — 
The Omnipresent Infinite; 

We stagnate as in seas of lead, 

Ice-cold, or warmed with earthly fires : 

O that like thine our souls were fed 
With sun-like, yet serene desires ! 

A vase of quenchless love thou art, 

Drawn from that boundless Breast divine :- 

O that in thee, on-rushing Heart, 

Might rest, one hour, this heart of mine ! 



MAY CAROLS. 213 



XLIX. 



Sing on, wide winds, your anthem vast ! 

The ear is richer than the eye : 
Upon the eye no shape can cast 

Such impress of Infinity. 

And thou, my soul, thy wings of might 
Put forth : — thou too, one day shalt soar, 

And, onward borne in heavenward flight, 
The starry universe explore ; 

Breasting that breeze which breasts the bowers 
Of Heaven's bright forest never mute, 

Whereof this happy earth of ours 
Is but the feeblest forest-fruit. 

Of all those worlds unnumbered, none 
There lives but from that Blood all pure 

Ablution, or its crown, hath won — 
Its state redeemed, or state secure. 

" The Spirit bloweth where He wills " — 

O Effluence of that Life Divine 
Which wakes the Universe, and stills, 

In Thy strong refluence make us Thine ! 



214 MAY CAROLS. 



Coeli enarrant. 

L. 

Sole Maker of the Worlds ! They lay 

A barren blank, a void, a nought, 
Beyond the ken of solar ray 

Or reach of archangelic thought. 

Thou spak'st ; and they were made ! Forth sprang 

From every region of the abyss, 
Whose deeps, fire-clov'n, with anthems rang, 

The spheres new-born and numberless. 

Thou spak'st : — upon the winds were found 
The astonished Eagles. Awed and hushed 

Subsiding seas revered their bound ; 
And the strong forests upward rushed. 

Before the Vision angels fell, 

As though the Face of God they saw ; 

And all the panting miracle 

Found rest within the arms of Law. 



MAY CAROLS. 215 

Perfect, O God, Thy primal plan — 

That scheme frost-bound by Adam's sin : 

Create, within the heart of Man, 

Worlds meet for Thee ; and dwell therein. 

From Thy bright realm of Sense and Nature, 
Which flowers enwreathe and stars begem, 

Shape Thou Thy Church ; the crowned Creature ; 
The Bride ; the New Jerusalem ! 



Caro factus est 



LI. 



When from beneath the Almighty Hand 
The suns and systems rushed abroad, 

Like coursers which have burst their band, 
Or torrents when the ice is thawed ; 

When round in luminous orbits flung 
The great stars gloried in their might ; 

Still, still a bridgeless gulf there hung 
7 Twixt Finite things and Infinite. 



216 MAY CAROLS. 

That crown of light Creation wore 
Was girdled by the abysmal black : 

And all of natural good she bore 
Confessed her supernatural lack. 

For what is Nature at the best ? 

An arch suspended in its spring ; 
An altar-step without a priest ; 

A throne whereon there sits no king. 

As one stone-blind that fronts the morn, 
The world before her Maker stood, 

Uplifting suppliant hands forlorn, 

God's creature, yet how far from God ! 

O Shepherd Good ! The trackless deep 
He pierced, that lost one to restore ! 

His Universe, a wildered sheep, 
Upon His shoulder home He bore ! 

That Universe His Priestly robe, 
The Kingly Pontiff raised on high 

The worship of the starry globe : — 

The gulf was bridged, and God was nigh. 



MAY CAROLS. 217. 



ConDescensto* 

LII. 

When was it that in act began 
That Condescension from on high 

Consummated in God made Man, 
Its shrine for all eternity ? 

'Twas when the Eternal Father spake, 

The Eternal Son in act replied : 
When sudden forth from darkness brake 

The new-shaped worlds on every side. 

Instant that All-Creative Power 
A meek, sustaining Power became, 

A Ministration hour by hour, 

From death preserving Nature's frame. 

Instant into Creation's breast 

Nor merged nor mixed He passed, and gave 
Continuance to the quivering guest 

That else had found at birth its grave. 



218 MAY CAROLS. 

In finite mansions, He, the Immense, 
In service reigning, made abode, 

Bore up — a Law, a Providence — 

The weight of worlds, " His people's load." 

He came once more — not then to reign ; 

In servant's form to serve, and die, 
The " Lamb before the ages slain," 

" The Woman's Seed " of prophecy. 



XTbe Creates Wis&om,* 

LIIL 

Created Wisdom at the gate 

Of Heaven's eternal House, I played 

The Eternal Wisdom Uncreate 

Beheld me ere the worlds were made. 

I danced, the void abyss above : 
Of lore unwrit the characters 

I traced with winged feet, and wove 
The orbits of the unshaped stars. 

* Proverbs viii. 27-34. 



MAY CAROLS. 219 

I flashed — a Thought in light arrayed — 
Beneath the Eternal Wisdom's ken : 

When came mine hour I lived, and played 
Among the peopled fields of men. 

Blessed is he that keeps my ways, 
That stands in reverence on my floor, 

That seeks my praise, my word obeys, 
That waits and watches by my door. 



Bomus Burea* 

LIV. 

" Wisdom hath built herself a House, 
And hewn her out her pillars seven." * 

Her wine is mixed : her guests are those 
Who share the harvest- home of heaven. 

The fruits upon her table piled 

Are gathered from the Tree of Life : 

Around are ranged the undefined, 

And those that conquered in the strife. 

* Proveibs ix. r. 



MAY CAROLS. 



Who tends the guests ? Who smiles away 
Sad memories? bids misgiving cease? 

A crowned one countenanced like the day- 
The Mother of the Prince of Peace. 



IRegina Bngelorum, 

LV. 

Ere yet mankind was made ; ere yet 
The sun, and she that rules the night, 

Were in their heavenly stations set, 
God's Sons were playing in His sight. 

Age after age those armies vast 
In winding line had upward flown, 

Yet ne'er their shadows higher cast 
Than on the first step of the Throne. 

And downward through the unsounded space 
If those had sunk who soared above, 

They ne'er had found the buried base 
Of Godhead's Condescending Love — 



MAY CAROLS. 221 

Then He, the God Who made them, proved : 
For, high and higher as they soared, 

Hymning the Eternal Son beloved, 

The God from God, and Lord from Lord, 

He showed them, in that Form decreed, 

Their God made man — man's hope and trust — 

"The Woman," and "The Woman's Seed," 
He showed ; the Unbounded bound in dust. 

As when from some world-conquering height 
The shepherd sees, ere risen the sun, 

His advent clothe the cloud with light, 
Before them thus that Vision shone : 

And while, in wonder half, half fear, 

That Child, that Mother fixed their eye, 

He bade those heavenward hosts revere 
Their God in His Humility. 

Set was that Infant as a sign : — 

In endless bliss confirmed were they 

Who hailed that hour the Babe Divine ; 
Self-sentenced those who turned away. 



MAY CAROLS. 



TRcQina Bngelorum, 

LVI. 

Their Trial past, more near the Throne, 
And rapt thenceforth to holier skies, 

Still on that Maid and Babe foreshown 
The Elect of Angels fixed their eyes. 

A Spirit-galaxy they hung • 

A Cross unmeasured, limned in fire, 
And instinct-shaped, that swayed and swung 

On winds of unfulfilled desire. 

They worshipped Him, that God made Man ; 

To Him they spread their hands in power : 
Unmarked the exhausted centuries ran : 

That trance millennial seemed an hour. 

'Twixt Finite things and Infinite, 

They saw the Patriarch's Ladder thrown \ 

Saw One Who o'er it moved in light : 

They saw, and knelt with foreheads prone. 



MAY CAROLS. 223 

Make answer, sinless Angels, say, 
Ye who that hour your God adored, 

Less strong, less dear, is she this day, 
That Mother of your destined Lord ? 



IRegina Hngelorum* 

LVIL 

Angelic City in the skies, 

Not built of stones, but Spirits pure, 
Irradiate by the Eternal Eyes, 

And in the Eternal Love secure ; 

Angelic City, selfless, chaste, 

By Him thou watcrrst upholden still, 
That neither Future know'st, nor Past, 

Tranced in thy God's all-present Will • 

Thy mind a mirror sphered of gold, 
Wherein alone His splendours shine ; 

Thy heart a vase His Hand doth hold, 
That yields to Him alone its wine ; 



224 MAY CAROLS. 

For one brief moment proved and tried ; 

Thenceforth man's help in trial's stress ; 
Bright Sister of the Church — the Bride — 

The elder Sister, yet the less : 

O like, unlike ! crowned Twain ! 

Celestial both, yet one terrene ; 
Behold, ye sing the same glad strain ; 

Ye glory in the self-same Queen ! 



/ICmlter Hmicta Sole. 

LVIII. 

A Woman " clothed with the sun,"* 
Yet fleeing from the Dragon's rage ! — 

The strife in Eden-bowers begun 
Swells upward to the latest age. 

That Woman's Son is throned on high ; f 
The angelic hosts before Him bend : 

The sceptre of His empery 

Subdues the worlds from end to end. 

* Rev. xii. I. 

t "And her Child was caught up unto God, and to His 
Throne " (Apoc. xiv. 5). 



MAY CAROLS. 

Yet still the sword goes through her heart, 
For still on earth His Church survives : 

In her that Woman holds a part : 
In her she suffers, and she strives. 

Around her head the stars are set ; 

A dying moon beneath her wanes : 
By Death hath Death been slain : and yet 

The Power accurst awhile remains. 

Break up, strong Earth, thy stony floors, 
And snatch to penal caverns dun 

That Dragon from the pit, that wars 
Against the Woman and her Son ! 



LIX. 

Regent of Change, thou waning Moon, 
Whom they, the sons of night, adore, 

Her foot is on thee ! Late or soon 
Heap up upon the expectant shore 



226 MAY CAROLS. 

The tides of Man's Intelligence ; 

Or backward to the blackening deep 
Remit them ! Knowledge won from Sense 

But sleeps to wake, and wakes to sleep. 

Where are the hands that reared on high 
Heaven-threat'ning Babel ? where the might 

Of them, that giant progeny, 

The Deluge dealt with ? Lost in night. 

The child who knows his creed doth stretch 
A sceptred hand o'er Space, and hold 

The end of all those threads that catch 
In wisdom's net the starry fold. 

The Sabbath comes : the work-days six 
Go by. Meantime, of things to be, 

O Salutary Crucifix, 

We clasp the burning heart in thee : 

We clasp the end that knows no end \ 
The Love that fears no lessening moon ; 

The Truth in which all mysteries blend ; 
His Truth, His Word — the One Triune. 



MAY CAROLS. 227 



©tber Sbeep 3 bave- 

LX. 

Fire-breathing concourse of the Stars 
That tremble as with Love's delight, 

How dungeon-girt by custom's bars, 

How wrapped and swathed in error's night, 

His soul must be who nightly lifts 
On you his wide and wandering eyes, 

Yet doubts that ye partake the gifts 
Bequeathed by Calvary's Sacrifice ! 

Lift up your heads, Eternal Gates 
Of God's great Temple in the sky ! 

That Blood your lintels consecrates : — 
The Avenging Angel passes by ! 

The King of Glory issues forth : 

The King of Glory enters in : 
That Blood which cleansed from sin the earth, 

Or cleansed your spheres, or kept from sin. 



228 MAY CAROLS. 



LXI. 



Is this, indeed, our ancient earth? 

Or have we died in sleep and risen ? 
Has earth, like man, her second birth ? 

Rises the palace from the prison? 

Hills beyond hills ascend the skies ; 

O'er winding valleys, heaven-suspended, 
Huge forests, rich as sunset's dyes, 

With rainbow-braided clouds are blended. 

What means it ? Glory, sweetness, might ? 

Not these, but something holier far — 
Shadows of Him, that Light of Light, 

Whose priestly vestment all things are. 

The veil of sense transparent grows : 
God's Face shines out, that veil behind, 

Like yonder sea-reflected snows — 
Here man must worship, or be blind. 



MAY CAROLS. 229 



LXII. 

No ray of all their silken sheen 

The leaves first fledged have lost as yet : 
Unfaded, near the advancing queen 

Of flowers, abides the violet. 

The rose succeeds ; her month is come : 
The flower with sacred passion red : 

She sings the praise of martyrdom, 
And Him for whom His martyrs bled. 

The perfect work of May is done : 
Hard by a new perfection waits : 

The twain, a sister and a nun, 
A moment parley at the grates. 

The whiter Spirit turns in peace 

To hide her in the cloistral shade : — 

J Tis time that you should also cease, 
Slight carols in her honour made. 



MAY CAROLS. 



Epilogue, 



THE SON OF MAN. 

I gazed — it was the Paschal night — 

In vision on the starry sphere : 
Like suns the stars made broad their light : 

Then knew I Earth to Heaven drew near. 

The Thrones of Darkness down were hurled ; 

The Veil was rent ; the Bond was riven : 
Then knew I that Man's little world 

Had reached its home — the heart of heaven. 

Made strong by God, mine eyes with awe 
Still turned from star-changed sun to sun 

That ringed the earth in ranks, and saw 
A Spirit o'er each, that stood thereon. 



MAY CAROLS. 23] 

And lo ! by every Spirit stood 

More high, the Venerable Sign : — 

Then knew I that the Atoning Blood 

Had reached that sphere ; the Blood Divine. 

From orb to orb an anthem passed ; 

" The Blessing of the Lord of All 
Hath reached us from the least and last 

Of stars that gem the Heavenly Hall ; 

" For He, that Greatest, loves the Least; 

Puts down the mighty ; lifts the low : 
On Earth began His Bridal Feast : 

Our Triumph is its overflow ! " 

Then Earth, that great " New Earth" * foretold, 
Assumed, at last, her glories new : — 

Or were they hers indeed of old, 

Though veiled so long from mortal view? 

While — with her changing — far and wide 
Those worlds around her, blent in one, 

Became that " City of the Bride " 
Which needs no light of moon or sun. 

* " There shall be New Heavens, and a New Earth." 



32 MAY CAROLS. 

Their glory had not suffered change ; 

Their vastness ever vaster grew, 
As golden street, and columned range, 

To one unmeasured Temple drew. 

There stood the Saints by suffering proved, 
Exiles from God to God returned ; 

And near them those our childhood loved ; 
Revered the most ; the longest mourned. 

Ere long through all that throbbing frame 
Of things beheld and things unseen 

Rolled forth that Name which none can name, 
Celestial music, not terrene : 

And down that luminous Infinite 

I saw an Altar and a Throne ■ 
And, near to each, a Form, all light, 

That, resting, moved, and moved Alone : 



But if He filled that Throne, or knelt 
That Altar nigh, or Lamb-like lay, 

I saw not. This I saw, and felt, 
That Son of Man was God for aye. 



MAY CAROLS. 233 

That Son of Man arose, and stood, 

And from His Vest, more white than snow, 

Slowly there dawned a Cross of Blood 
That through the glory seemed to grow : 

Above the heavens His Hands He raised 
To bless those Worlds whose race was run ; 

And lo ! in either palm there blazed 
The blood-red sign of Victory won ■ — 

That Blood the Bethlehem Shepherds eyed, 
Warming His cheek Who slept apart : 

That Blood He drew, the Crucified, 

Far-fountained from His Mother's Heart. 



NOTES. 



11 When from their lurking place the Voice" — P. 22, line 5. 

St. iRENiEUS (2d century). 

" As Eve, through the discourse of a (fallen) Angel, was seduced 
so as to flee from God, having transgressed His word, so also 
Mary, through the discourse of a (good) Angel, was evangelised, 
so as to bear God, being obedient to His word. And if Eve 
disobeyed God, yet Mary was persuaded to obey God, that the 
virgin Mary might become the advocate of the virgin Eve. And 
as the human race was bound to death through a virgin, it is 
saved through a virgin, the scales being equally balanced." — 
{Quoted fro??i Waterworth's "Faith of Catholics ," vol. iii. p. 326.) 

" From Him the Grace: through her it stands" &c. — P. 54, line 1. 

St. Ambrose (died a.d. 396). 

' 'Oh the riches of Mary's virginity ! Like a cloud she rained 
upon the earth the grace of Christ ; for concerning her it was 
written : "Behold the Lord cometh sitting upon a light cloud" 
(Isa. xix.). Truly light, she who knew not the burdens of wed- 
lock ; truly light, she who lightened the world from the heavy 
debt of sins. She was light who bore in her womb the remis- 
sion of sins." — {From the same, vol. iii. p. 363.) 

" If He of Angels, first and best." — P. no, li?ic I. 

St. Proclus (died 447). 

" Abel is famed on account of his sacrifice ; Enoch is comme- 
morated for having been well pleasing unto God ; Melchisedech 



256 XOTES. 

is announced as God's image. . . . but nothing is so great as 
Mary, the Mother of God. . . . Run in thought, through crea- 
tion, O man, and see if there be anything equal to, or greater 
than, that holy and virgin mother of God. . . . Eve has been 
healed. . . . and the Mary is also venerated because she has 
become mother and servant, and cloud, and chamber, and ark 
of the Lord. . . . Mary is the virgin's glory ; the mother's 
boast; the support of believers; the express image of ortho- 
doxy ; piety's seal ; the muniment of righteousness ; the dwelling- 
place of the Holy Trinity." — (From the same, pp. 405-6.) 



" Rejoice, O Eve! thy promise waned." — P. 126, line 9. 

St. EpIPHANIUS (4th century). 

"This is she who was foreshadowed by Eve, who, in an obscure 
sense, received the title of mother of the living. . . . From that 
Eve the whole human race has been derived. But truly from 
Mary was life itself born into this world, that she might bring 
forth Him that liveth, and become the mother of the living. . . . 
Whoso honoureth the Lord, honoureth also the saint; and whoso 
puts dishonour on a saint, puts dishonour on his own Lord." . . . 
Be Mary in honour ; but be the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, 
adored : let no one adore Mary." — (From the sa?ne, vol. iii. pp. 
359-60.) 

"She took the timbrel:"—?. 128, line 5. 

St. Peter Chrysologus (4th and 5th century). 

Miria?n, a type of Mary. 

"Agreeably to that of the Apostle, our Fathers were all under 
the cloud, and all passed through the sea (1 Cor. x.). And that 
Maria may always precede the salvation of man, she justly went 
before, with a canticle, the people which the regenerating water 
brought forth into the light. A/aria, he says, the sister of Aaron, 
took a timbrel in her hand, and said, ' Let us sing to the Lord, ' 
&c. (Exod. xiv. ). This name is connected with prophecy : . . . 
therefore is this the maternal name of the Mother of Christ." — 
(From the same. vol. iii. p. 404. ) 



NOTES. 237 

" Thronus Trinitatis" — P. 169, 

St. Cyril of Alexandria (4th and 5th century). 

" Hail, Holy Trinity, which has called us together unto this 
Church of Mary, Mother of God. Hail, Mary, Mother of God, 
venerable treasury of the whole world ; inextinguishable lamp ; 
crown of virginity ; sceptre of orthodoxy ; indestructible temple ; 
repository of the illimitable ; mother and virgin. . . . Hail, thou 
that didst contain the illimitable in thy hallowed virgin womb ; 
through whom the Trinity is hallowed ; through whom the 
precious cross is celebrated (named) and is worshipped through- 
out the whole world ; through whom angels and archangels are 
filled with gladness ; through whom heaven exults ; through 
whom demons are put to flight. ... Be it ours to worship the 
undivided Trinity, hymning the praises of Mary, ever virgin 
(the holy temple, to wit, of God), and of her Son." — (Fro7?i the 
same, vol. iii. p. 392.) 

" They seeined that Manhood to dilate." — P. 171, line 4. 

"Just as a body in motion is accompanied by the motion of 
its shadow, so also by rendering the Supreme God favourable, 
it follows that the person has His (God's) friends, Angels, Souls, 
Spirits, favourable also ; for they sympathise with those who are 
worthy of God's favour ; and not only do they become kindly 
affected towards the worthy, but they join their work with those 
who desire to worship the Supreme God, and they propitiate 
Him ; and they pray with us." — Orige?i. 

"Her Title triumphed." — P. 174, line 11. 

" Mary's chief Title, ' Deipara,' protected our Lord from all 
the early heresies which denied His Divinity, not the Nestorian 
only, but the Arian, the Sabellian, and the Eutychian. It is 
therefore a seal to the doctrine of the Incarnation, as the * Gloria 
Patri ' is to that of the Trinity. Though assailed by heretics, 
that Title was used long before a General Council had made 
it part of the faith of the Christian Church — by Origen, 
Eusebius of Palestine, Athanasius, Cyril of Palestine, Gregory 
Nyssen, Gregory Nazianzen, and others. Carninal Newman 
has recently referred to the fact that Julian the Apostate re- 
proached the Christians of his day, with calling Mary ' Deipara,' 



238 NOTES. 

and has cited many passages from the Fathers, anterior to the 
Council, the meaning of which is the same as that affirmed by 
that Title, such as, ' Our God was carried in the womb of Mary,' 
says Ignatius, who was martyred a.d. 106. ' She did compass 
without circumscribing the Sun of Justice.' — 'The Everlasting is 
born,' says Chrysostom. ' The Everlasting,' says St. Ambrose, 
' came into the Virgin.' ' The closed Gate,' says Jerome, 'by 
which alone the Lord God of Israel enters, is the Virgin Mary.' 
1 He is made in thee,' says Augustine, ' Who made thee. 5 " 

" Clothe thejn for ever with the fleece." — P. 177, line II. 

" She is the wise woman who hath clad believers from the 
fleece of the Lamb born of her, with the clothing of incorrup- 
tion, and delivered them from their spiritual nakedness." — St. 
Nilus. 



" O Golden House I O boundless store." — P. 183, line 13. 

St. Basil of Seleucia (4th and 5th century). 

" If Paul says of the other saints, ' of 'whom the world was not 
worthy* what shall we say of the Mother of God, who outshines 
all the martyrs as much as does the sun the stars ? ... If Peter 
was called Blessed, and had the keys of heaven entrusted to him, 
how shall not she be blessed above all, she who was found worthy 
to bring forth Him who was confessed by Peter? If Paul was 
called a vessel of election, what vessel will the Mother of God 
be ? Is not she the golden urn that received the manna, yea, 
that received within her womb that heavenly bread which is 
given for food and strength to the faithful?" — (From the same, 
vol. iii. p. 396.) 

11 Sine Labe origina'ti Concepta." — P. 191. 

The victory of the second Eve is always regarded by the 
Fathers as the Triumph of that high Grace to which she was 
obedient, a Grace accorded through the Sacrifice of her Son, 
though by anticipation. The following passages will serve as 
examples : — 

" Eve, being a virgin and undefiled, conceiving the word that 
was from the serpent, brought forth disobedience and death : 



NOTES. 239 

but the Virgin Mary, taking faith and joy, when the Angel told 
her the good tidings, that the Spirit of the Lord should come 
upon her, and the power of the Highest overshadow her, and 
therefore the Holy One that was born of her was Son of God, 
answered, 'Be it to me according to thy word.'" — St. Justin 
Martyr (a.d. 120-165). 

" Eve had believed the serpent ; Mary believed Gabriel ; the 
fault which the one committed by believing, the other by 
believing has blotted out." — Tertullian (a.d. 160-240). 

"Death by Eve, life by Mary." — St. Jerome (a.d. 331-420). 

"In the wife of the first man, the wickedness of the devil 
depraved her seduced mind; in the mother of the second man 
the grace of God preserved both her mind inviolate, and her 
flesh." — St. Fulgentius (a.d. 468-533). 



" Could she, that Destined One." — P. 192, line 9. 

"St. Augustine, after saying that all have sinned, proceeds in 
a well-known passage, ' Except the Holy Virgin Mary, concern- 
ing whom, for the honour of the Lord, I wish no question to be 
raised at all, w 7 hen we are treating of sins.' Thus the great 
Teacher on the subject of Original Sin, while he pronounces no 
judgment on the subject, yet affirms that if Mary was an excep- 
tion to the general statement that all have sinned, such an 
exception was in his estimate to the honour of her Son, not in 
derogation to His work, as the Redeemer of all. Assuming him 
to have spoken only of committed, not of Original Sin, it could 
not have escaped him that, as the ' righteous man sins seven 
times a day,' never to have sinned would have been impossible, 
except on the supposition of an exemption from Original Sin. 
The same remark applies to the title ' Immaculate,' so con- 
stantly applied in the East, as in the West, to the Blessed 
Virgin." 



" When man gives up the ghost, behold." — P. 193, line 5. 

It need hardly be remarked that an illustration based on a 
philosophical analogy, remains but an illustration, or approxi- 
mative mode of conceiving a truth. It does not affect to pro- 
nounce on the objective certainty of that philosophy, however 
worthy of our respect, in the terms of which it has sought an 
expression. 



2 4 o NOTES. 

11 A ::/d, so small at first : ." — P. 211, line 2. 

Many passages in the Old Testament are applied, in a 
mystical sense, to the Blessed Virgin by the Fathers. Thus 
St. Jerome speaks of her as " the Closed Gate ; '"' St. Chiysos- 
tom as "the Light Cloud/' They are also full of allusions to 
Mary's subordinate offices in connection with the relations of 
human life. Thus St. Augustine says, " It is a great sacrament 
that whereas through woman death became our portion, so life 
was born to us through a woman : " and St. Epiphanius, 
" Come ye virgins to a virgin, come ye that conceive to her who 
bore ; mothers to a mother : ye that suckled to one who suckled; 
young girls to the young girl." 



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